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Wed, 11 Sep 2019 19:07 - Updated Wed, 11 Sep 2019 19:07

On 9/11, Trump vows to hit Taliban 'harder' than ever

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump used 9/11 remembrance commemorations Wednesday to announce an unprecedented escalation of the US military assault on Afghanistan's Taliban -- just days after he wanted to hold peace talks with the insurgents.

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Speaking at a Pentagon ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, Trump said that over "the last four days" US forces have "hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before and that will continue."

Trump said the assault was ordered after he canceled peace talks with the Taliban over the weekend in retaliation for a bomb attack that killed one US soldier last week.

The precise nature of the US offensive against the Taliban that Trump described was not immediately clear.

On Monday, Trump had already declared that "over the last four days, we have been hitting our Enemy harder than at any time in the last ten years!"

But US troop levels in Afghanistan are only around 14,000, a fraction of the peak of about 100,000 in 2010.Bangkok post

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