Accessibility links

Breaking News

Afghanistan to Intensify Fight Against Islamic State after Attacks


Afghan President Ashraf Ghani attends Afghan Independence Day celebrations in Kabul, Afghanistan August 19, 2019. (Afghan Presidential Palace/Handout via Reuters)
Afghanistan to Intensify Fight Against Islamic State after Attacks
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:04:51 0:00


Afghanistan has promised to intensify the fight against the Islamic State, or IS, after the group claimed responsibility for a deadly weekend attack.

President Ashraf Ghani declared Monday that his government would seek to destroy all safe havens used by IS.

His comments followed a bombing of a wedding party Saturday in Kabul that killed at least 63 people, including children. Nearly 200 others were injured. IS claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Ghani was giving a nationwide address to mark the 100th anniversary of the country’s independence. He said the government would attempt to destroy the militant group’s “nests.”

Afghans bury the bodies of victims of the Dubai City wedding hall bombing during a mass funeral in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug.18, 2019. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Afghans bury the bodies of victims of the Dubai City wedding hall bombing during a mass funeral in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug.18, 2019. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

“We will take revenge for every civilian drop of blood,” Ghani declared. “Our struggle will continue against (IS), we will take revenge and will root them out.” He urged the international community to join those efforts.

More attacks happened on Monday. A series of bombings hit the eastern city of Jalalabad, several news agencies reported. An Afghan official said at least 66 people were wounded in those attacks. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Both IS and Taliban militants operate in the area.

In his speech, Ghani said the Taliban must share the blame for the wedding bombing. This is because the Taliban's own deadly attacks over the years on schools, mosques, and other public places had "created the platform for other terrorists" to operate, he said.

The Afghan president did not speak about ongoing negotiations between the United States and Taliban representatives. His government has been critical of the process because Afghan officials have not been included in the talks. The Taliban has refused to hold direct negotiations with the U.S.-supported Afghan government.

A relative wails near the coffins of victims of the Dubai City wedding hall bombing during a mass funeral in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug.18, 2019.(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
A relative wails near the coffins of victims of the Dubai City wedding hall bombing during a mass funeral in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug.18, 2019.(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

The goal is to negotiate a peace deal to end nearly 18 years of fighting. A pullout of U.S. troops has been a long-standing Taliban demand. The U.S. military has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan. About 8,000 troops from 38 other countries have also deployed there.

A major U.S. demand has been a guarantee that Afghanistan will not be used as a base for militant groups to launch terror attacks on American targets.

The U.S. envoy leading talks with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Sunday that the peace process should be intensified to help Afghanistan defeat the Islamic State.

A man waves an Afghan flag during Independence Day celebrations in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
A man waves an Afghan flag during Independence Day celebrations in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the weekend wedding bombing “an attack against humanity.” U.S. President Donald Trump also condemned the attack. He told reporters Sunday that he does not want Afghanistan to become a “laboratory for terror.”

Trump said he had received information on the latest U.S.-Taliban talks and described the negotiations as “good.”

The United Nations said earlier this year that more than 32,000 civilians had been killed in Afghanistan over the past 10 years. It also said 927 children in Afghanistan were killed last year.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and VOA News. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

haven n. a place where you are protected from danger, trouble, etc.​

revenge n. the act of doing something to hurt someone because that person did something that hurt you

platform n. something that permits someone to tell a large number of people about an idea

See comments (6)

This forum has been closed.
XS
SM
MD
LG