Taliban in Afghanistan Vows to Disrupt Loya Jirga

Posted November 14th, 2011 at 7:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The Taliban in Afghanistan is vowing to disrupt this week's traditional assembly, or loya jirga, and says it has obtained the top-secret security arrangements for the meeting

More than 2,000 Afghan politicians, tribal elders and community leaders are gathering in Kabul ((the Afghan capital) on Wednesday to begin a four-day meeting to discuss relations with the United States and efforts to reconcile with the Taliban.

In advance of the gathering, Afghan security forces on Monday killed an attempted suicide bomber outside the jirga's venue. Two other would-be attackers were arrested.

The Taliban posted what it claimed to be top-secret security documents on its website on Sunday. Both NATO and Afghan officials have labeled the Taliban's claim a “fabricated piece of propaganda.” They suggest the insurgents are simply trying to intimate those planning to attend the meeting. One official questioned why the Taliban, rather than revealing its knowledge of the plan, would not just use it to plan attacks.

Jirga participants are expected to discuss what presence, if any, the United States will have in Afghanistan following the scheduled withdrawal of all foreign combat troops in 2014. They are also to cover plans by the Afghan government to make peace with the Taliban. Those plans were undermined in September by the assassination of President Hamid Karzai's chief negotiator, Burhanuddin Rabbani.