Tue, 11 Aug 2020

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 14 (Sputnik/ANI) - U.S. troops have left five bases in Afghanistan and the number of servicemen in Afghanistan has decreased as part of the peace agreement reached with the Taliban in Qatar in February, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said.

According to the envoy, 135 days have passed since the agreement was signed and now the sides have reached a "key milestone" in its implementation.

"The U.S. has worked hard to carry out the first phase of its commitments under the agreement, including to reduce forces and depart five bases. NATO troops have come down in proportional numbers," Khalilzad said on Twitter.

A U.S. official who wished to remain anonymous told TOLOnews broadcaster that the bases were located in Helmand, Uruzgan, Paktika and Laghman provinces.

Khalilzad also condemned the latest Taliban attack near the National Directorate of Security office in Samangan province that killed 10 people and injured dozens of others.

The Taliban were in power in Afghanistan from 1996-2001 before being overthrown by forces of an UN-mandated coalition of U.S.-led international troops. The radical movement has since fought to regain recognition and expel foreign troops, including by waging an insurgency against the Afghan government and terrorising the country's civilian population.

The Taliban has committed to reducing violence as part of a peace pact negotiated by the United States in the Qatari capital of Doha on February 29. In addition to a mutual release of prisoners and the launch of intra-Afghan talks, this was expected to pave the way for ending the almost two-decade-long confrontation between Kabul and the group. (Sputnik/ANI)

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