Every week-long, partial truce seemed to be largely holding throughout Afghanistan on Saturday, with jubilant civilians celebrating within the streets to mark a doubtlessly historic turning level within the warfare, whilst remoted assaults threatened to undermine the method.
The Taliban, U.S. and Afghan forces have all agreed to a so-called “reduction in violence” marking solely the second lull in combating since 2001. “It is the first morning that I go out without the fear of being killed by a bomb or suicide bomber. I hope it continues forever,” Kabul taxi driver Habib Ullah mentioned, whereas in different components of the nation individuals danced within the streets.
Assault in Balkh
Nevertheless in Balkh province within the north, Taliban fighters attacked a district headquarters close to the provincial capital of Mazar-i-Sharif, killing two Afghan troopers, mentioned an official. There have been additionally reviews of a separate incident in central Uruzgan province.
Common Scott Miller, who leads U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, didn’t immediately deal with these incidents, however confused that Western forces would regularly monitor the state of affairs. Within the occasion of any breaches of the truce, Gen. Miller mentioned the U.S. would talk with the Taliban by way of numerous channels arrange in Doha, the place the insurgents have a political workplace.
The partial truce is predicted to set the circumstances for Washington and the insurgents to signal a deal in Doha on February 29 that might, finally, pull U.S. troops out after greater than 18 years and launch war-weary Afghanistan into an unsure future. A profitable week would present the Taliban can management their forces and exhibit good religion forward of any signing.
Particulars of how precisely the discount in violence will work have remained scant.
The U.S. has mentioned there’s an “understanding” for a “significant and nationwide reduction in violence across Afghanistan”, whereas Afghan safety forces will stay “on active defence status” through the week.
In Kandahar, one rebel mentioned he had obtained orders to face down — however one other mentioned he had solely been ordered to chorus from attacking main cities and highways.
Washington has been in talks with the Taliban for greater than a 12 months to safe a deal.