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Taliban warn no letup if U.S. troops stay

Published By United Press International
KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Taliban militants in Afghanistan Saturday warned of prolonged "war and destruction" should U.S. troops stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

The Taliban's comments come as Afghan President Hamid Karzai is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama about maintaining a small contingency of U.S. forces in Afghanistan after the planned end of 2014 pullout, Khaama Press reported.

However, the Taliban said in a statement, "If America wants to leave a small or large number of its troops for whatever length of time then it means war and destruction will continue in the region for that same length."

"If Karzai and the Kabul regime agree with the presence of even a single American soldier then, just as presently, they shall also be responsible for all future hostilities, casualties and destruction," the statement said.

The White House has said between 10,000 and 15,000 troops will likely remain in Afghanistan after 2014.
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