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Mattis signals ongoing commitment to the Afghan war

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Macedonian Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska, right, stand at attention during a ceremony welcoming Sekerinska a...
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis puts his hand over his heart as the Star-Spangled Banner is played during a ceremony welcoming Macedonian Defense Mini...

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Macedonian Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska, right, stand at attention during a ceremony welcoming Sekerinska a...

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis puts his hand over his heart as the Star-Spangled Banner is played during a ceremony welcoming Macedonian Defense Mini...

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is signaling that the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan remains committed to the fight, amid persistent questions about a possible withdrawal and a spate of deadly suicide bombings.

Mattis said Tuesday the U.S. will stand by the Afghan people and the government, and that "the NATO mission will continue" in a campaign to push the Taliban to the peace table.

Two Islamic State suicide bombers hit Kabul on Monday, killing 25 people, including nine journalists who had rushed to the scene of the first attack. It was the latest in a string of large-scale bombings in the capital and across the country this year.

Asked about the attacks, Mattis said Tuesday the U.S. knew there would be tough fighting this year.


Updated : 2021-04-24 02:38 GMT+08:00