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Amid Partial Truce, Insurgents Kill 9 Security Forces

Talibanhad earlier hinted that reduced violence didn’t mean “cessation of fighting” and that isolated attacks shouldn’t be interpreted as “transgression”

AT News

KABUL: Three days after the Taliban insurgency agreed to a week-long ‘reduction in violence’ on Friday midnight, reportssuggested isolated insurgent attacks in a few provinces and killing of 9 people as a result.

A military official in Ghazni, Ali Shekari, has said that Taliban insurgents on Monday dragged three passengers down from a Kabul-bound vehicle in Ghara Bagh district and gunned two of them down – specutively army personnel.

District chief of Char Kent in Balkh province said Taliban insurgents assaulted a base of local police forces, killing 4 of them and 2 civilians including a woman, injuring 5 others.

Samangan gubernatorial spokesman, Seddiq Azizi, said that the Taliban kidnapped Dara Suf Bala’s district chief, Mohammad Ali Hussainy, along with a criminal department staff and a guard.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesperson, claims the group has no knowledge of the attacks. Taliban had earlier hinted that reduced violence didn’t mean cessation of attacks or “ceasefire” and that attacks should not be interpreted as a “transgression”.

The Taliban insurgents, U.S. and Afghan forces began observing a week-long period of reduced violence at midnight on Friday, as part of a deal negotiated between the rebel group and the United States to facilitate intra-Afghan talks, with a peace deal expected by February-end.

This temporary truce with the Taliban is highly likely the harbinger of peace and the start of long-awaited talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. Jubilant civilians celebrated in the streets to mark a potentially historic turning point in the war soon after the plan began.

Prior to the partial truce, a daily streak of at least 70 insurgent attacks were waged by the Taliban. However, only 10 attacks were reported on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Interior Ministry’s spokesperson, Nasrat Rahimi, said in a statement that Taliban waged attacks on police and army checkpoints and governorate offices in Helmand, Kandahar, and Balkh, Kapisa and Uruzgan province, killing 5 and injuring 13 security personnel.

The group’s spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, has said under the seven-day reduction in violence, the Taliban attacks will be reduced significantly and the group will not launch attacks in cities, highways or against US and Afghan military bases.

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