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In late June, The New York Times claimed, citing unnamed intelligence sources, that Russia could have paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to assassinate US troops in Afghanistan. The publication added that President Donald Trump had been presented with an intelligence report on the issue.

Trump called the article another attempt at a Russia hoax to make Republicans look bad in an election year, while the allegations were denied by the White House, the Pentagon, and the NSA, as well as by the Taliban itself. The group stated that its actions are not related to foreign intelligence agencies or governments, dubbing the allegations an attempt to obstruct the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

Russian officials have denied the allegations as false and characterised them as being part of the internal political infighting in the United States.

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