As U.S. officials continue in Qatar to negotiate a peace agreement with the Taliban that would bring an end to the stalemate 18-year conflict – miles away in Afghanistan itself – bombings and bloodshed still define daily life.
On Friday, at least nine people died and more than a dozen injured – according to the BBC – when a child was made to detonate a suicide bomb at a wedding celebration in the eastern province of Nangarhar near the Pakistan border.
The child, provincial spokesperson Attaullah Khugyani stated, was used to specifically attack a militia aligned with the government. Pro-government groups routinely operate in conjunction with traditional Afghan forces to beef up measures and ensure that fragile territories do not fall into Taliban and ISIS control.
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While no outfit has yet claimed responsibility for Friday’s deadly onslaught, Taliban officials have denied involvement. The Islamic State branch, known as ISIS-Khorasan, also has clout in the area and routinely carries out fatal attacks.
The bombing comes on the heels of a string of targeted explosions striking fear in feeble communities and claiming lives across the ravished nation. On Sunday, the Taliban executed a devastating suicide car bombing in the central Afghanistan province of Ghazni, claiming the lives of 12 people and wounding more than 150 others.
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Less than a week earlier, the Taliban rocked downtown Kabul, killing at least one person and wounding more than a hundred – at least 26 children were among the hurt, sliced by shards of glass when the bomb fragmented nearby windows.
While the future of Afghanistan and the quest of whether stability will ever be achieved remains a complicated question for lawmakers and officials, a new Pew Research Center study concludes that the majority of veterans do not consider both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq worth fighting “considering the costs versus the benefits.” The views “do not differ based on rank or combat experience.”
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The study found that 58 percent did not deem Afghanistan worth it and 64 percent Iraq was not constructive.
The views of U.S. veterans, military website Task & Purpose pointed out, closely mirror the perceptions of civilians in which 62 percent of Americans in total stated that the war in Iraq was not worth it and 59 percent echoed that going into Afghanistan was also not worth the cons and cost.
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