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US troop number decreases, intelligence presence continues in Afghanistan: Trump

AT News Report

KABUL: US President Donald Trump said that the number of his troops would decrease to less than 13,000 but a notable number of intelligence operatives would remain in Afghanistan to prevent “possible threats” against West posed by other terrorist groups.

“The reason of our staying in Afghanistan is to prevent the country from turning into a terrorist lab and we have proper ideas and plans about it. I mean that tremendous acts will be implemented and announced in the future,” said Trump.

He said that the US had been able to control the situation in Afghanistan, despite having less number of troops in the country comparing to the soldiers stationed before the US-led combat mission that ended in December 2014.

“We decrease our troops; the future belongs to the Afghan government and Taliban. We will keep a significant number of our intelligence in Afghanistan,” Trump added.

Over 14,000 US troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan, supporting, consulting and training Afghan security forces.

Trump also condemned the attack on a wedding party in Kabul, where at least 63 people killed and over 182 others wounded, including children and women.

Meanwhile, US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad condemned the attack, saying that success in the Afghan peace process will put Afghans in a strong position to defeat the ISIS (Daesh) terrorist group.

“We condemn ISIS and yesterday’s heinous attack on a Kabul wedding hall that killed scores of innocent Afghan families who had gathered to celebrate what was meant to be a joyous occasion,” Khalilzad twitted Sunday.

The remarks come as Trump met with his top advisers on Friday and said that Washington was seeking a good peace deal to end the US longest war in Afghanistan.

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