Taliban militants will not take part in intra-Afghan talks until the Afghan government releases about 5,000 of their prisoners, a spokesman said on Monday, presenting a major possible barrier to ending the war.
The timeline of a weeklong partial ceasefire agreement between US, Afghan forces and Taliban ended up at 12:00am (local time) of Friday night. The weeklong reduction in violence will be followed with a peace deal to be signed between Washington and Taliban in Qatar, rolling out direct talks among Afghans and a gradual foreign troop withdrawal.
Russian president’s special envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov is Moscow’s observer at the US-Taliban accord expected to be signed on Feb. 29. Mr Kabulov has had a major role in the Afghan peace process.
Cases of militancy and attacks by armed insurgents on the security forces have been registered in the militancy-plagued Afghanistan while the Taliban group was observing the seven-day reduction in violence over the past couple of days, local media reported Wednesday.
Five people including a civilian have been confirmed dead as the Taliban fighters stormed a security checkpoint in Charkent district of the northern Balkh province on Monday, district governor Salima Mazari said Tuesday.
Afghan acting defense minister confirmed Saturday that Taliban attacks dropped significantly during the early 12 hours of a seven-day reduction in violence negotiated between the militant group and the United States.
A week-long, partial truce came into effect across Afghanistan on Saturday, with jubilant civilians celebrating in the streets to mark a potentially historic turning point in the war, even as isolated attacks threatened to undermine the process.
A United Nations report says Afghanistan passed a grim milestone with more than 100,000 civilians killed or hurt in the last 10 years since the international body began documenting casualties in a war that has raged for 18 years.