ashraf ghani

Announcing the cut, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lambasted the country's two rival leaders for failing to work together and threatening a U.S.-led peace effort.
The U.S. said Tuesday that it had begun its “conditions-based reduction of forces" in the country as part of its February peace deal signed with the Taliban.
President Ashraf Ghani's comments pointed to the first hitch in implementing the fragile U.S.-Taliban peace deal.
American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks, who had been held since 2016, were released in exchange for three top Taliban figures.
The two professors had been abducted three years ago while working at the American University in Kabul.
Hours later, an explosion struck near the U.S. embassy in Kabul. The violence comes as Afghanistan faces presidential elections on Sept. 28.
“There were soldiers lying everywhere and the smoke was so thick, it was difficult to see,” said a spokesman at the base.
The decision came after a meeting of Islamic clerics from across the country this week who declared a fatwa on Taliban attacks.
The blast came after repeated warnings that militants could try to disrupt the country's election process.