•   
  •   
  •   

World Taliban commanders meet to consider Afghan government cease-fire offer

23:01  07 june  2018
23:01  07 june  2018 Source:   nbcnews.com

Taliban 'talking and fighting,' says U.S. commander in Afghanistan

  Taliban 'talking and fighting,' says U.S. commander in Afghanistan The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan played down a spate of recent Taliban attacks on Wednesday, saying violence levels were still lower than average as some insurgents talked peace - a situation he described as "talking and fighting.""You see mid-level, senior-level Taliban leaders engaging with Afghans," said Army General John Nicholson, adding that a lot of the diplomatic activity was taking place "off the stage.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — The Taliban 's top military council was meeting Thursday to decide whether to accept President Ashraf Ghani's cease - fire offer , two senior commander told NBC News.

This was stated by the commander . John Nicholson said that the negotiations also involved foreign governments and international organizations, writes the BBC. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has offered to hold talks in February, but timely response from the Taliban was not.

Image: Residents look at a damaged military vehicle Residents look at a damaged military vehicle after battle between Afghan security forces and Taliban in western Farah province on May.© Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC Image: Residents look at a damaged military vehicle Residents look at a damaged military vehicle after battle between Afghan security forces and Taliban in western Farah province on May.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — The Taliban's top military council was meeting Thursday to decide whether to accept Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's cease-fire offer, two senior commanders told NBC News.

Ghani announced earlier that government troops would observe a cease-fire beginning on 27 Ramadan, or June 12 on the Western calendar, and last through the Eid al-Fitr holiday, or around June 19. A statement from the president's office said the cease-fire does not include Al Qaeda or the Islamic State.

Afghanistan announces unconditional ceasefire with Taliban after peace meeting

  Afghanistan announces unconditional ceasefire with Taliban after peace meeting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced an unconditional ceasefire with the Taliban until June 20, coinciding with the end of the Muslim fasting season, but excluded all other militant groups, such as Islamic State.The decision came after a meeting of Islamic clerics from across the country this week who declared a fatwa on Taliban attacks. A suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State killed 14 people at the entrance to the clerics' peace tent in Kabul.

In some remote districts, Afghan army and police commanders have agreed to cease - fires with local Taliban commanders , according to international coalition officials, diplomats and former top Afghan government advisors.

The statement was issued as Taliban military commanders considered an internal proposal under which it could offer to cease operations against Afghan security forces in areas where IS and rebel factions affiliated with it pose a growing threat.

The group's leadership "will thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of the cease-fire announcement," said a member of the Taliban council.

But the fighter, who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons and because he is not allowed to speak to the media, warned that he thought most of the Taliban's field commanders would be in favor of continuing their jihad against Afghan and foreign troops.

"There are two reasons we may not announce a cease-fire," he said. "First, jihad is the best worship and we would like to continue it in this holy month. Second, we have already deployed our fighters in different provinces and it would be too difficult to keep them in those areas without pursuing jihad."

The Taliban did not officially respond to the government's announcement.

US to step up fight against IS during Afghan truce: general

  US to step up fight against IS during Afghan truce: general A one-week ceasefire with the Taliban announced by the Afghan government will allow the fight against the Islamic State group to be stepped up, the top US general in the country said Friday. Afghan commandos backed by US special forces and air support are tackling IS and Al-Qaeda fighters who hold pockets of territory in the northern and eastern provinces of Kunar, Nangarhar and Jowzjan."We are in the middle of a new offensive against ISIS in Nangarhar. This will continue and in fact will be intensified during the period of ceasefire," General John Nicholson, who commands US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told reporters.

President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced a ceasefire with the Taliban after a religious scholars meeting in Kabul on Monday where they issued a fatwa against Meanwhile, the religious scholars repeated their call to the Taliban to accept the Afghan government ’s “unconditional” peace offer .

The commander said the cease - fire was valid throughout the country. His statement adds credence to announcements by anonymous Taliban and intelligence officials that government intermediaries recently met with Taliban commanders to talk about a possible peace deal.

While they have been fighting the U.S.-backed government since being ousted from power in 2001, the Taliban have steadily expanded their presence in the country in recent years, capturing a number of districts.

The group carries out near-daily attacks, mainly targeting Afghan security forces. Another senior commander who also spoke on the condition of anonymity said he and his comrades doubted the Afghan government's sincerity.

Image: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani inspects an honor guard at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept/ 29, 2016.Afghan President Ashraf Ghani inspects an honor guard at the presidential palace in Kabul.© Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC Image: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani inspects an honor guard at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept/ 29, 2016.Afghan President Ashraf Ghani inspects an honor guard at the presidential palace in Kabul. "The entire world and the Afghan nation will see that despite a cease-fire, the Afghan security forces will continue their operations," he said, adding that the Taliban had gained lots of ground and commanders would probably not risk the group's progress by laying down their arms, even temporarily.

Afghan Taliban announce surprise three-day Eid ceasefire

  Afghan Taliban announce surprise three-day Eid ceasefire The Afghan Taliban on Saturday announced a three-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday at the end of this week, their first offer of its kind, following a ceasefire announced by the government on Thursday.KABUL, June 9 (Reuters) - The Afghan Taliban on Saturday announced a three-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday at the end of this week, their first offer of its kind, following a ceasefire announced by the government on Thursday.

An Afghan official says the government and a Taliban commander who controls a small part of northwestern Afghanistan have agreed to a cease - fire . Special Offer . Afghanistan government reaches cease - fire deal with Taliban leader.

The regional commanders from the Taliban ’s Quetta Shura requested the meeting with U.N. Special The Dubai meeting was at a higher level than previously known talks which took place in Saudi Arabia between former Taliban officials and representatives of the Afghan government in 2008.

Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali, the army's chief of staff, told reporters earlier that Afghan forces would be on standby throughout the cease-fire and would respond if necessary.

The U.S. and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014, but the U.S. still has thousands of forces based there in a support and counterterrorism role. The Trump administration has sent additional troops to try to change the course of America's longest war.

In a statement, the U.S. forces said that they, too, would observe the cease-fire with the Taliban, but that it would not affect their counterterrorism efforts against terrorist groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.

"We will adhere to the wishes of Afghanistan for the country to enjoy a peaceful end to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and support the search for an end to the conflict," said Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

In a separate statement, the U.S. State Department said it welcomed Ghani's offer.

"We stand with the Afghan people as they law the foundation for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

The U.S. has said it is open to an Afghan-led peace process. Nicholson last month said that elements of the Taliban are showing interest in peace talks.

In the meantime, the insurgents have continued to carry out attacks. On Wednesday, the Taliban attacked a police post in eastern Ghazni Province, killing three policemen and wounding five others.

In eastern Khost Province, a drive-by shooting at a mosque on Wednesday killed four people and wounded 15. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the shooting, and it was not clear who the target was.

Mustaq Yusufzai reported from Pakistan, and Saphora Smith from London.

Suicide bomber targets Afghans celebrating truce, killing 14 .
A suicide bomber has struck in Afghanistan's eastern city of Jalalabad, killing at least 14 people in the second attack in as many days targeting Taliban fighters, security forces and civilians celebrating a holiday cease-fire. Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said another 45 people were wounded in the attack, which struck a crowd of people as they left the governor's compound.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!