US condemns suicide attack in Kabul, reaffirms support to ensure transparent election process in Afghanistan

Washington: The White House said it was moving forward with its South Asia strategy as the Pentagon strongly condemned the terrorist attack on a voter registration office in Kabul that killed about 60 people and injured 100 others.

File image of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. AP

File image of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. AP

"We're continuing to move forward with the strategy that was announced," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said at her daily news conference.

She was responding to a question on the series of latest terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon said it was committed to stay in Afghanistan till the terrorists were defeated.

"We strongly condemn the deplorable suicide attack on a voter registration centre in Kabul that killed approximately 60 people and wounded over 100 others," Pentagon spokesperson Col Robert Manning told reporters during an off-camera news conference.

"This senseless violence targeting innocent civilians exercising their fundamental democratic rights exposes the savagery and inhumanity of terrorists," he said.

The US, along with its Afghan and international partners, are committed to destroying the Islamic State terror group in Afghanistan, which has claimed responsibility for this vicious attack, he added.

"We stand with the people in the government of Afghanistan and their fight against terrorism. The United States reaffirms our support to the Afghan government, Afghan security forces, and the independent electoral commission in their efforts to ensure that the elections process is transparent, credible, and safe," Manning said.

The Trump administration, he said, was still focused on the South Asia strategy – the ability to regionalise the support to defeat terrorists in the region. "It's a tough fight obviously. But we still continue to move forward in accordance with the strategy," he added.

The attack on the polling station reaffirms the reason why rooting out violent extreme extremism has to be the prime focus, Manning said.

"When citizens can't go and register and exercise their democratic right to vote, that's a problem. They certainly deserve it and that's why we're going to stay there to make sure that we can work with our Afghan partners to allow them that right," he added.

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Updated Date: Apr 24, 2018 11:42 AM

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