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US Must Keep Troops in Afghanistan as 'Long as Insurgency Continues' - General

© Photo : Sgt. Lucas Hopkins (US Marine Corps handout)Brig. Gen. Roger Turner, left, commanding general of Task Force Southwest, greets Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at Bastion Airfield, Afghanistan, June 28, 2017 to reaffirm Department of Defense commitment to train, advise and assist Afghan missions
Brig. Gen. Roger Turner, left, commanding general of Task Force Southwest, greets Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at Bastion Airfield, Afghanistan, June 28, 2017 to reaffirm Department of Defense commitment to train, advise and assist Afghan missions - Sputnik International
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Earlier in the day, Taliban* insurgents attacked an office of the non-profit aid organisation Counterpart International in Kabul, killing four civilians in the process and wounding dozens of others. The attack came despite ongoing negotiations between the militant group and the US to ensure peace in the country and the withdrawal of US troops.

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford stated during a congressional hearing that Washington needs to maintain the presence of its forces in Afghanistan until the insurgency is eradicated from the country.

"I think we will need to maintain a counterterrorism presence as long as an insurgency continues in Afghanistan", he said.

The statement comes hot on the heels of an attack by Taliban* militants on an office of the Counterpart International aid organisation in Kabul, Afghanistan. The bombing and subsequent assault claimed the lives of four and left 24 others injured. The Taliban* claimed responsibility for the attack and, according to media reports, stated that the non-governmental organisation was part of a US network "involved in harmful Western activities".

A general view of Kabul city beneath Koh-e Asmai, popularly called the TV Mountain - Sputnik International
Taliban Claims Responsibility for Kabul Blast Targeting Foreign NGOs

The attack on the aid organisation came amid ongoing talks between Washington and the Taliban* aimed at ending the 17-year-long war in Afghanistan, ensuring the withdrawal of American troops, and ceasing militant hostilities in the country.

The US wants to receive guaranties from the Taliban's* leadership that Afghanistan won't become a safe haven for terrorist organisations after its forces leave. The talks have gone through five rounds already, but so far have not been successful — although US officials have reported certain progress.

READ MORE: US, Afghan Forces Kill More Civilians Than Taliban — UN Report

US forces have been waging war in Afghanistan since late 2001. The deployment of American and NATO troops came as a response to the deadly 9/11 attacks in the US the same year.

*Taliban is a terrorist organizations banned in Russia

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