03-15-12-fox-The United States encountered mounting
challenges to its presence in Afghanistan Thursday, as Afghan President
Hamid Karzai urged the U.S. to pull back to military bases and the
Taliban announced they were suspending tentative peace talks.
The developments come after two incidents
strained relations between the two countries -- the inadvertent burning
of Korans on a U.S. base, and most recently a shooting spree that left
16 Afghan civilians dead. Afghan lawmakers expressed outrage after the
U.S. soldier suspected in that massacre was flown out of the country to
By Thursday, both Karzai and the Taliban
were lashing out at American negotiators, all while Defense Secretary
Leon Panetta was visiting the country.
Karzai, in a meeting with Panetta, asked the
U.S. to withdraw from Afghan villages and stay on bases, saying,
"Afghan security forces have the
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