KABUL – The Taliban marked on Monday its hundredth anniversary of independence from Afghanistan by reiterating that foreign troops are to withdraw very soon from the country, while the Afghan government suspended many celebrations following a suicide bombing during a wedding celebration on Saturday which left 63 dead.
“With the blessing of this Jihad, the day approaches closer when these invaders shall completely leave our country akin to the British and Soviets before them and the believing Afghan nation shall again raise the banner of honor and independence as they did a century earlier, Allah willing,” the Taliban said in a statement.
The Taliban further added that “fortunately, the ongoing eighteen-year Jihad against the current invaders being led by the Islamic Emirate has reached a stage where the occupiers are making preparations for the withdrawal of their forces.”
“We advise you to leave Afghanistan to the Afghans and take heed from the history of this Graveyard of Empires,” the group said.
The peace talks between the United States and the Taliban that took place in Doh could end in an imminent agreement that includes the reduction of US military from 14,000 to 9,000 in Afghanistan.
In exchange, the insurgent group committed to not collaborate with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
The Taliban must also pledge to initiate a peace negotiation with the Afghan government, but has refused to do so until now and it is expected that Oslo might host the talks.
The Afghan government on Monday postponed many celebrations on the occasion of the Independence Day, following Saturday’s bomb attack at a wedding celebration in Kabul by the Islamic State that left 63 dead and 182 injured.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in a televised address, said that the enemy of the civilians had caused the celebrations and added, “We will take revenge of massacre of citizens and each drop of blood of innocent people.”
In commemoration of the 100th Independence Day of the country, President Ghani laid a flower wreath at the foot of the independence minaret at Ministry of Defense compound.
He further expressed his commitment to push out the IS and other active terrorist organizations from Afghanistan.
The celebrations were also affected by a series of explosions in Jalalabad, capital of the eastern province of Nangarhar – the bastion of IS – with the detonation of six bombs that injured 17 people, according to a statement by Nangarhar Spokesperson Ataullah Khogiani.
According to the spokesperson another six explosives were neutralized adding that ten of the injured had now been released from the hospital.
Afghanistan, a traditional intersection of civilizations, was witness to a political confrontation, known as “The Great Game” between Tsarist Russia and the British Empire that sought to gain control over Central Asia.
The British Protectorate continued until 1919, when Afghanistan gained independence at the end of the Third Anglo-Afghan War.
In February, the country marked the 30th anniversary of withdrawal of former Soviet Union troops from Afghanistan after ten years of invasion.