Taliban mock US over government shutdown
Taliban militants fighting US troops in Afghanistan taunted Washington today over the government shutdown, accusing US politicians of "sucking the blood of their own people"
The Islamist militants issued a statement describing how US institutions were "paralysed", the Statue of Liberty was closed and a fall in tourist numbers had hit shops, restaurants and hotels in the capital.
"The American people should realise that their politicians play with their destinies as well as the destinies of other oppressed nations for the sake of their personal vested interests," the Taliban said.
The insurgents accused "selfish and empty-minded American leaders" of taking US citizens' money "earned with great difficulty" and then "lavishly spending the same money in shedding the blood of the innocent and oppressed people".
"Instead of sucking the blood of their own people... this money should be utilised for the sake of peace," they added.
The US embassy in Kabul has said that it expects "to function normally in the short term" due to the shutdown, though its Twitter feed would not be regularly updated. Embassy press staff was not immediately available to comment on the rebels' statement.
The Taliban, who were ousted from power in a US-backed offensive in 2001, often use their website to issue colourful verbal attacks on Washington and the Kabul government.
About 57,000 US troops are deployed in Afghanistan, with most of them set to pull out by the end of the next year.
The US shutdown has seen hundreds of thousands of workers sent home without pay after Congress failed to pass a budget for the 2014 fiscal year that began October 1.