In a Bagram air base attack, four US troops were killed. A senior defense official has confirmed that four International Security Assistance Force members were killed in a mortar attack on the Afghanistan base.
The four deaths are the result of an “indirect fire attack,” as reported by NBC News. The attack came on the heels of an announcement that officials from the US, Taliban, and Afghan government would soon meet to discuss a peaceful resolution to the the conflict.
The negotiations would include a stipulation that the Taliban must sever relations with al Qaeda. Additionally, the Taliban would be expected to adopt the Afghan constitution. Specific focus would include the rights of minorities and women.
US officials have reportedly committed to the talks. However, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has stated that the Afghan government would not be participating in the discussion. As reported by Reuters, Karzai has announced that they will suspend negotiations until they were “led by Afghans.”
The Bagram air base attack may have caused another roadblock in the proposed peace talks. The negotiations were proposed as an attempt to end the unrelenting violence.
However, as the latest attack illustrates, the fighting is not likely to cease anytime soon. Officials were cautions in Monday’s announcement as discussion of a peaceful resolution would have been difficult at best.
In addition to the peace talks, US officials announced that Afghan security interests have been turned over to local security forces. The decision will allow for the removal of US combat troops from Afghanistan, by the end of 2014. The troops have been present for 12 years in support of a NATO-led mission to eliminate Taliban rule.
Continued threats and attacks have led to questions about the decision to leave security in the hands of local forces. However, the decision has already been made. As reported by NBC News, humanitarian aid and international funding will continue after the troops’ departure.
The Bagram air base attack has taken the lives of four US troops, adding to the number of men and women killed in the ongoing conflict. While peace negotiations are being discussed, it may take years for the violence to end.
[Image via Wikimedia]