Taliban attacks presidential rally in Afghanistan

With peace talks officially scuttled, the Taliban appears ready to ramp up attacks in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, just as an Afghani presidential rally was getting ready to start, a suicide bomber attacked, killing more than two dozen people, according to The Washington Post. About an hour later, another suicide bomber struck near the U.S. embassy, killing more than 20 people.

Vowing to Disrupt Elections

In the midst of peace talks with the United States, with a deal almost in place, the Taliban carried out an attack that killed an American soldier.

After the attack, the Taliban stated they ordered the attack to strengthen their position against the United States. Donald Trump’s response was to call off the peace negotiations, claiming the Taliban could no longer be trusted.

Even as the negotiations were underway, there was significant animosity between the Taliban and Afghani leadership, with the Taliban outright refusing to negotiate with Afghanistan.

Now that the peace talks have collapsed, the Taliban has vowed to disrupt the Afghani elections as much as possible.

Deadly Attacks

The first attack was carried out just as President Ashraf Ghani took the stage. The suicide bomber arrived by motorcycle and detonated his device just outside the entrance.

While the president and his running mate were unharmed, 26 people were reported to have been killed and close to three dozen more were injured.

Within an hour, a second attack was carried out, this one near both the U.S. Embassy and the Afghan Defense Ministry.

Officials stated that 22 people were killed and another 38 injured, making this the deadliest waves of attacks since the peace talks were ended.

Adding more fuel to the fire is the fact another U.S. soldier was killed in action the day before the attacks. Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy W. Griffin died during a Wardak province operation from small arms fire, making him the 17th soldier killed in Afghanistan this year. (There were 13 combat-related deaths in 2018.)

Even with the violence, officials have vowed to hold the elections as planned, remaining undeterred by the terrorist threats and deadly attacks.

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