Taliban Breaks Off Peace Talks With US

As Hamid Karzai tells NATO to clear out of all rural villages, bases
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2012 7:40 AM CDT
An Afghan villager, right, shows an empty canister to delegation members allegedly used by US forces during Sunday's killing of civilians at a prayer ceremony for victims in Panjwai, March. 13, 2012.   (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)
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(Newser) – The Afghan Taliban suspended talks with the US "until they show willingness in carrying out their promises instead of wasting time," the group said in a statement today, according to al-Jazeera. The group complained of America's "alternating and ever-changing position" and said it would put off opening a political office in Doha, the Washington Post reports. Al-Jazeera has the full text of the Taliban statement here.

And that was just the start of the bad news for US forces: Hamid Karzai has now demanded that NATO clear out of all Afghan villages and all its bases in rural areas, the BBC reports. Karzai now wants Afghanistan to take the lead on its own security by 2013, he told Leon Panetta, who is concluding a visit to Kabul today. Karzai also wants a new memorandum of understanding barring US soldiers from entering Afghan homes without search warrants.

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