All warring factions have agreed to a weeklong reduction in violence, marking the second lull in fighting since 2001
KABUL: Two days after the Taliban insurgency agreed to a week-long ‘reduction in violence’ on Friday midnight, reports suggested minor isolated insurgent attacks in a few provinces – a drastic decline in insurgency since years.
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.
Sunday saw merely two insurgent Taliban attacks in southern Kandahar. Rebels ambushed a military convoy in Shah Vali Kot district; moreover, an explosive detonated in front of a security forces vehicle. No casualties were reported.
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.
A provincial councilman in Balkh province claimed that 5 security personnel were killed after Taliban assailed a police checkpoint. In tumultuous Uruzgan province – one of the epicenters of the insurgency – government officials reported three separate Taliban attacks on security forces bases, claiming several lives. Paktia province was also a scene of another attack. The Taliban have not claimed responsibility for none of the attacks.
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.
Moreover, Afghan security brass have also said that there will be no security offensives, neither any US-led operations.
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.