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Taliban lift telecom ban as era of reduced violence unfolds

AT News

KABUL: Telecom services have been fully resumed across Afghanistan after the Taliban said they had lifted telecom restrictions in the wake of the start of a weeklong period of reduction in violence by the Taliban, U.S. and Afghan forces. The militants have also pledged no attacks would ever happen.

The rebel group lifted on Saturday restrictions on telecommunication services across Afghanistan – signalling their readiness to hold up to their end of the bargain with the United States to renounce war. The Taliban had previously partially banned and obstructed telecom services.

The US and Taliban began a period of reduction in violence at midnight on Friday and vowed to sign a peace deal on 29th February, if the period of reduced violence holds. The announcement has raised hopes for an extension of partial truce. Commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller said on Saturday that he hoped the period will be extended soon.

The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has said the restrictions were imposed in areas with threats of airstrikes and raids. He said telecom companies have now been allowed to provide round-the-clock services during the week-long reduction in violence. He also assured no attacks would happen.

“Telecom services have been allowed in all places for 24 hours. In certain places, however, technical issues or lack of fuel may hamper the services,” he added.

Reports from Maidan Wardak, Herat, Badghis, Farah and some other provinces regarding the lifting of restrictions on telecom services.

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