No peace deal with Taliban in Chora: Wardak
TIRINKOT: The defense minister on Tuesday dismissed as unfounded reports that a ceasefire has been reached between the Afghan National Army and Taliban in the Chora district of central Uruzgan province.
Addressing a news briefing in Tirinkot, Gen. Abdur Rahim Wardak rejected the reports that Chora-based soldiers and the insurgents had agreed on a truce. “No such deal has been made with fighters in any part of the country.''
Wardak acknowledged the army had rendered sacrifices great, with casualties among security forces recently rising by 40 percent.
Over the past week, 75 security personnel, including army soldiers, were killed and 109 others injured. "Media reports about the so-called deal represent nothing more than a propaganda war by the Taliban.''
The governor's spokesman, Abdullah Himmat, also denied any ceasefire in Chora.
But a tribal elder from the district, Haji Mohammad Nabi Khan, told Pajhwok Afghan News the ceasefire applied to only two army check-posts.
"I have heard and recorded the conversation about the truce between the two sides, with the Taliban telling the army soldiers they won’t bother them, but would continue to target police,'' he claimed.
Another tribal elder, Luqman, said: "Casualties among soldiers have recently declined in the district.'' But roadside bomb attacks on police had escalated in areas where the army was stationed.
A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, also denied the ceasefire in Chora. Calling the reports government-sponsored propaganda, he said they would never cut such a deal.--(PAN)
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