US troops start leaving Afghanistan

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An American official spoke to the Associated Press and disclosed that hundreds of US troops have started leaving the restive country in accordance with a peace treaty it signed with the Taliban a few weeks ago.

The officials said that hundreds of US troops have started to leave Afghanistan in accordance with the deal with the Taliban. These soldiers will not be replaced as the American administration looks to decrease US troops in Afghanistan from 13,000 to 8,600, said the official while speaking to The Associated Press.

The troop withdrawal comes before a public announcement of the move as tensions are set to rise once again in Afghanistan following a new rift between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah. The two rival politicians held separate presidential oath taking ceremonies, each refusing to recognise the other and claiming the right to the presidentship.

Ghani, who emerged the victor in controversial Afghanistan elections, is not recognised by Abdullah who has alleged that the polls were rigged. This can complicate matters for the US and create hindrances in the implementation of the peace accord between the US and the Taliban. The latter has been stepping up attacks against the Afghan security forces in recent days but has not targeted foreign forces.

The next step of the deal involves an intra-Afghan peace dialogue through which the Taliban and Afghanistan stakeholders will try to figure out a power-sharing formula to ensure the US can withdraw and peace prevails in the country.