Millennium Post

Afghans fear Trump's Taliban move means more civilians die

Kabul: The sound of the blast ripped through Kabul, in an instant wrenching the Afghan capital's attention from a nationally televised interview in which a United States envoy revealed the first details of a deal to end America's longest war.

Last week's Taliban car bomb targeted a foreign compound but instead shredded Afghan homes, with stunned and bloodied families picking up children and fleeing in darkness as their once-solid world collapsed. One family saw 30 relatives wounded many of them women including a son still healing from an attack the year before. "Our only hope was peace," Hayat Khan, the family's 54-year-old patriarch, said Tuesday, "and that doesn't happen now."

President Donald Trump says the US-Taliban talks on ending the fighting in Afghanistan are "dead," deeply unfortunate wording for the Afghan civilians who have been killed by the tens of thousands over almost 18 years.

Many fear his cancellation of negotiations will bring more carnage as the US and Taliban, as well as Afghan forces, step up their offensives and everyday people die in the crossfire.

As America on Wednesday mourns thousands of civilians killed in the 9/11 attacks, weary Afghans watch their own toll from the aftermath continue to rise.

"Here innocent people are killed and there is bloodshed everywhere. Families lose their sons, mothers, even their livestock, but no one cares about it," Khan said, a bandage still around his head from the blast.

"Who remembers them? Are they not humans?" The idea that Trump in a series of tweets over the weekend would call off a deal on the brink of completion, citing the Taliban's killing of a U.S. service member in another Kabul blast last week, has struck many Afghans as incomprehensible.

"There are attacks every day," said Khan's 26-year-old son, Zaki, who walked The Associated Press through the family's ruined home.

A relative held up a phone to show a photo of Zaki, dusty and bleeding and clutching a child, shortly after the blast. "Why doesn't he care about the killing of hundreds of civilians here?"

This also would be Afghanistan's longest war, if the fighting in the country had ever truly ended. Instead, Afghans have been plunged into various conflicts over the past four decades, from a Soviet invasion to a warlord-led civil war to the Taliban's arrival that ushered in a harsh version of Islamic law.

The collective deaths, in the hundreds of thousands, are being remembered in Martyrs' Week that continues through Friday.

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