The Taliban in Afghanistan have reacted defiantly to a U.S. decision to delay the reduction of its forces in that country.
"Maintaining American troops in Afghanistan can in no way slow down the rapid progress of our jihad and struggle," said a written statement issued on October 16.
U.S. President Barack Obama earlier announced the United States will keep its nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan through next year and will keep 5,500 troops in the country in 2017.
Reuters quoted one Taliban commander as saying the decision "means they aren't sincere about a peaceful solution to the Afghan crisis."
Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on October 16 that Italy will likely agree to a U.S. request that it extend the presence of some 750 Italian troops in Afghanistan into next year.
Taliban Defiant As U.S. Extends Afghan Troop Presence
Returning Pakistani Taliban Employs Extortion As Control Grows2
Tensions Increase Between Pakistan, Afghan Taliban Despite Historical Ties3
Amnesty Confirms Fresh Videos Show Taliban Executing Resistance Fighters4
'No One To Protect Us': Afghan Journalists Who Fled To Pakistan Say Western Nations Have Abandoned Them5
Fleeing Afghans Who Reach Turkey Get No Respite From Violence, Persecution6
Women's Rights: A Year After The Taliban Takeover7
Under The Taliban, Public Employees Must Pass Test Of Faith8
Taliban Harassment Of Couples A Blow To Afghan Restaurants9
Angelina Jolie Visits Flood-Hit Pakistan10
UN Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Pakistan's Flood-Ravaged Areas