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Taliban says will resume operations against Afghan forces

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the leader of the Taliban delegation, and Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. envoy for peace in Afghanistan, shake hands after signing an agreement at a ceremony between members of Afghanistan's Taliban and the U.S. in Doha, Qatar, February 29, 2020.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the leader of the Taliban delegation, and Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. envoy for peace in Afghanistan, shake hands after signing an agreement at a ceremony between members of Afghanistan's Taliban and the U.S. in Doha, Qatar, February 29, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The declaration comes only a day after President Ashraf Ghani said he would continue the partial truce at least until talks between Afghan officials and the Taliban kick-off, supposedly on March 10.

The Taliban said on Monday they were resuming offensive operations against Afghan security forces, ending the partial truce that preceded the signing of a deal between the insurgents and Washington.

The declaration comes only a day after President Ashraf Ghani said he would continue the partial truce at least until talks between Afghan officials and the Taliban kick-off, supposedly on March 10.

It ran for one week ahead of the signing of the historic accord in Doha on Saturday, and continued over the weekend.

“The reduction in violence... has ended now and our operations will continue as normal,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP.

“As per the (US-Taliban) agreement, our mujahideen will not attack foreign forces but our operations will continue against the Kabul administration forces.”

Also read: A big, bad deal: On U.S.-Taliban agreement

Fawad Aman, deputy spokesman for the defence ministry, said the government was “checking to see if (the truce) had ended”.

“We have not had any reports of any big attacks in the country yet”, he added.

Since the deal signing on Saturday, the Taliban have been publicly celebrating their “victory” over the US.

Under the terms of the deal, foreign forces will quit Afghanistan within 14 months, subject to Taliban security guarantees and a pledge by the insurgents to hold talks with the Kabul government.

The dramatic fall in attacks due to last week’s partial truce between the Taliban, US and Afghan forces offered Afghans a rare opportunity to go about their daily lives without fear of violence.

Mr. Ghani warned the insurgents on Monday that he was not committed to a key clause in the Doha deal involving the release of thousands of Taliban prisoners.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 10:10:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/taliban-says-will-resume-operations-against-afghan-forces/article30964646.ece

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