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Afghan Taliban send warning to Trump in bitter exchange

KABUL: The war of words between the Taliban and President Donald Trump escalated on Thursday as the group warned that the US leader had failed to grasp “what type of nation he is dealing with”.

The latest salvo in the bitter exchange comes a day after Trump boasted during a 9/11 anniversary ceremony that US forces have “hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before and that will continue” just days after peace talks between the two sides collapsed.

“Trump (@realDonaldTrump) must tread carefully,” tweeted Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.

“He has yet to grasp the type of nation he is dealing with. His advisers must make him understand & introduce the Graveyard of Empires #Afghanistan to him.”

Until this weekend there had been steadily mounting expectations of a deal that would see the US drawdown troop levels in Afghanistan.

In return, the Taliban would offer security guarantees to keep extremist groups out.

But then on Saturday, Trump revealed on Twitter that he had cancelled an unprecedented meeting between the Taliban and himself at Camp David and later said the talks were “dead”.

The Taliban spokesperson’s tweet comes just hours after the group launched a suicide attack that killed at least four soldiers near Kabul.

The incident occurred at a special forces base in Char Asiab district just south of the capital Kabul where an insurgent driving a car packed with explosives detonated near the facility’s entrance.

“Four soldiers were killed, and three injured,” said interior ministry spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi.

Afghan special forces — numbering around 17,000 — represent a small fraction of the 300,000 strong Afghan armed forces but have been carrying out the bulk of offensive operations across Afghanistan in recent years.

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