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Militants kill 5, injure 4 workers outside US airbase in Afghanistan

Militants kill 5, injure 4 workers outside US airbase in Afghanistan
Five Afghans were killed and four more wounded in an attack on their vehicle outside the Bagram air base in Afghanistan, a major US stronghold north of Kabul, local media reported. The attackers remain unknown.

The attack happened on Thursday evening, around 10 pm local time, when a vehicle carrying the local employees was approaching the base. Attackers opened fire on the vehicle, a local official told reporters. 

Located in the Parwan province, Bagram is the largest US base in Afghanistan and the headquarters of Operation Resolute Support.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack as of yet, though multiple reports have cast suspicion at Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants operating in Afghanistan.  

The incident comes as Washington has been pushing the government in Kabul to release Taliban prisoners, under the terms of an agreement signed between the US and the militants on February 29. The treaty aims to pave the way for US withdrawal from Afghanistan after almost  20 years of occupation and failed nation-building efforts.

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This pullback was supposed to be a gradual process, with the US continuing to support the government in Kabul against terrorists and militants such as IS.

However, citing the lack of progress in implementing the deal and divisions between President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah that delayed the formation of an “inclusive government,” the US halted $1 billion in aid to the Afghan government last month.

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