Taliban strikes again!
The Taliban again brought terror to Afghanistan as a suicide bomber and gunmen stormed a prominent restaurant in downtown Kabul province, killing at least 16 people, most of them foreigners.
According to media reports, a suicide bomber cleared a path for two gunmen, who then rushed in and fired on diners. 13 of the dead were foreigners.
The United Nations issued statement to say that four of its personnel are now confirmed dead.
Among those murdered were Wabel Abdallah, the International Monetary Fund’s Resident Representative, personnel from the United Nations.
US Condemns The Attack On Kabul Restaurant
In a press statement in Washington DC, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the United States joins leaders from around the world in condemning the terrorist attack in Kabul on January 17 against Afghans and those who are there to help them.
Ms Psaki highlighted that the United States and its international partners remain steadfast in their commitment to the people of Afghanistan and support their efforts toward peace, reconciliation, and a secure, stable, and prosperous nation.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this senseless violence.” – Ms. Psaki
US And Afghanistan Partnership
Both nations have worked together to set up a long-term political, diplomatic, and security partnership, that entered into force just a few days ago.
The US government sees this alliance as a powerful symbol of its commitment to Afghanistan’s future.
The United States also wants to continue to invest in doing what the Afghans believe they need.
The United States will continue to protect Afghanistan from any efforts by insurgents and outsiders to destabilize Afghanistan. The US government has supported President Karzai in his effort to have an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led reconciliation process. In December 2011, the United States withdrew 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
July 2011 marked the beginning of a responsible transition in which Afghan forces gradually took the lead in securing their own country.
By 2014, the process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security. The Afghan security forces move into the lead, the United States continues to reduce its military footprint. Its mission will change from combat to support. The remaining 23,000 “surge” troops in December 2009 were scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of summer 2012.
The U.S. government has made significant progress towards their goals as well.
The U.S. government says it is redoubling its efforts to pursue a peaceful end to the conflict in the region. The U.S. government has taken tangible steps to advance Afghan reconciliation and reintegration initiatives, including support to the Afghan High Peace Council and provincial police and reintegration councils.