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Taliban Warns Afghanistan Against Loya Jirga

The Taliban is warning that it will target a Loya Jirga or "grand assembly," which the Afghan government plans to hold next month.

Afghan officials have said the planned national assembly of politicians and tribal leaders will discuss a draft agreement between Kabul and Washington that would allow a small, long-term U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after 2014.

In a statement emailed to Radio Free Afghanistan on October 26, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid warns that participants in the Loya Jirga will face "severe repercussions," and also calls on Taliban fighters to target the assembly.

Afghan officials have said they expect more than 2,000 politicians, tribal leaders, clerics and lawmakers to take part in the four-day gathering set to open on November 16.

based on reporting from RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan