Taliban taunt US with defeat on 9/11 anniversary
12 September, 2012
KABUL: The Taliban has taunted the United States with the prospect of "utter defeat" in Afghanistan, marking the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that saw US troops invade to bring down the militia's repressive regime.
The anniversary itself was muted in Afghanistan, where US and NATO troops organised only small ceremonies to commemorate the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in the worst terror strike on US soil.
On the eve of the anniversary, a rocket fired by insurgents on the largest US base in Afghanistan destroyed a helicopter, killing three Afghan intelligence agents, officials said.
On the day itself, a suicide bomber killed a local Afghan police commander and four civilians in a shop in a remote town near the border with Turkmenistan.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the suicide attack, but in a statement posted online ahead of the anniversary, the Taliban said the United States "is facing utter defeat in Afghanistan militarily, politically, economically and in all other facets".
A report from a British think-tank suggested this week that the Taliban are open to a ceasefire and a political agreement that could lead to a US military presence in Afghanistan until 2024.
The report from the Royal United Services Institute claimed to reveal an emerging, pragmatic consensus among the Taliban leadership, who are willing to take part in peace negotiations in exchange for political leverage after 2014.