USA accuses Afghanistan government of not fighting corruption, cuts aid

USA accuses Afghanistan government of not fighting corruption, cuts aid”

Afghanistan's Defence Ministry and a senior U.S official in Kabul confirmed the drone strike, however didn't share particulars of civilian casualties.

A spokesman for US Forces Afghanistan, Col. Sonny Leggett, had said earlier Thursday that indications were "members of Daesh were among those targeted in the strike" and that the United States was working with local officials to determine whether there was collateral damage.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited corruption and Afghanistan's "inability to transparently manage US government resources".

Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat, called for the hearing after President Donald Trump's surprise announcement this month that he was calling off a previously secret plan to have Taliban officials and Ghani come to the Camp David presidential retreat near Washington for talks.

A Taliban suicide bombing of a hospital in southern Afghanistan killed 39 people, nearly doubling the previous death toll of 20, a provincial governor spokesperson said on Friday.

"The president has made clear that he will not negotiate a peace agreement while the Taliban continues such attacks", said a White House statement condemning Tuesday's blasts.

Pompeo said the United States was taking back $100 million committed for a major energy project, saying that Washington would instead fund it directly rather than sending the money to Afghan authorities.

The opening line reads: "Afghan government institutions and leaders must be transparent and accountable to the Afghan people".

War-weary Afghanistan was hit with its third straight day of bloody carnage Thursday, as a Taliban auto bomb flattened a hospital and killed 20 people in the south, while nine others died in a drone strike in the east.

The Islamist militants have been carrying out almost daily attacks since the collapse of peace talks with the United States this month, in the run-up to elections on September 28.

But the Taliban argue that the USA is also killing people in Afghanistan, and have repeatedly voiced their belief that Washington will eventually return to the table for more negotiations, stating their door is "open".

Ghani stands for re-election on September 28 in the campaign already marred by Taliban violence, with dozens killed this week including in an attack on a Ghani rally.

The Taliban want the election canceled as a condition for intra-Afghan dialogue, and some of Ghani's main opponents have dropped out of the race for the sake of peace.

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