India says it prefers direct talks between Afghanistan government and the Taliban

US President Donald Trump

Fawad Aman, deputy spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry also says three other soldiers were wounded in Thursday's attack in the Chahar Asyab district in Kabul province.

Officials said there was fighting in at least 10 provinces, with the heaviest clashes in the northern regions of Takhar, Baghlan, Kunduz and Badakhshan, where the Taliban have been pressing security forces for weeks.

Asserting that the Afghan peace talks are dead, US President Donald Trump attributed the end in the negotiations to the Taliban and said that the group is now being hit harder than ever before.

Addressing a Pentagon ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the deadly 2001 terrorist attack that killed almost 3,000 people, Trump also warned terrorists of grave consequences if they ever carry attacks on America again.

"If for any reason, they come back to our country, we will go wherever they are, and use power, the likes of which the United States has never used before", Trump said.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Mr. Trump said that over "the last four days" USA forces have "hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before and that will continue".

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Addressing the families of the 184 killed when a hijacked plane crashed into the building at 9:37 a.m., Trump said he and his wife "are united with you in grief".

A USA serviceman was killed by a Taliban auto bomb on Thursday, which Trump cited as the catalyst for the abrupt end to talks. "Over the last four days, we (US troops) have hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before". The talks, however, excluded the Afghan government, as the Taliban considers it a U.S. puppet.

Mr Trump has said he wants to withdraw around 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S. military personnel still in the country. However Khalilzad said final approval still rested with Trump.

A US- led invasion of Afghanistan shortly after the 2001 attack toppled the Taliban, who had harboured Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader and attacks mastermind.

He said that over "the last four days", U.S. forces have "hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before and that will continue".

As many as 100,000 USA troops were in Afghanistan at the invasion's peak, and more than 2,400 have been killed.

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