Afghanistan will never again be militant sanctuary - US ambassador

A US led intervention sparked by the 11 September attacks toppled the Taliban government in 2001.

High school students draw the Twin Towers and write messages on the sidewalk in front of their school on 11 September 2017 in New York, in observance of the 16th anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks. Picture: AFP

KABUL - The United States (US) ambassador to Afghanistan said on Monday Washington would never allow militants to use the country as a sanctuary, as American and allied troops in Kabul commemorated the 11 September attacks.

US President Donald Trump in August committed nearly 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan as part of an open-ended campaign against Taliban insurgents who have made advances in recent years.

A US-led intervention sparked by the 11 September attacks toppled the Taliban government in 2001. Since then more than 2,400 American troops and more than 1,000 international allies have died in Afghanistan.

“Today we remember how this conflict began but let us also remember how this must end, with Afghanistan never again serving as an ungoverned space, sanctuary or base for those who are bent on attacking us and our allies,” ambassador Hugo Llorens told a crowd of soldiers at the NATO coalition’s headquarters in Kabul.

The United states would also “completely annihilate” Islamic State militants in the region, Llorens said.

The Taliban on Monday claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing that wounded several NATO troops and Afghan civilians in a province north Kabul.

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