Afghan forces killed in first 'Taliban attack' since ceasefire end: officials

Afghan forces killed in first ‘Taliban attack’ since ceasefire end: officials

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Kabul: Seven members of the Afghan security forces were killed in the attack on Thursday. The culprit is blamed on the Taliban, the first fatal attack since the end of the three-day ceasefire.

Governor Spokesman Waheeda Shahkar said militants attacked a checkpoint in Parwan, north of the capital.

Shakar added: “The Taliban also suffered casualties.”

District Police Chief Hussain Shah said Taliban militants set fire to checkpoints, killing five security forces personnel. The other two were shot dead.

The Taliban did not comment.

This is the first attack on Taliban by Afghan officials since the ceasefire held during Eid al-Fitr on Tuesday night.

According to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, civilian casualties decreased by 80% during the temporary truce.

Police said that although the Afghan security forces carried out air strikes in the south on Wednesday, killing 18 “militants”, since the end of Tuesday night, violence has largely reduced.

The surprising truce proposed by the Taliban and the pause in the fighting gave hope and peace talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government would soon start.

In response to the ceasefire, the Afghan authorities released about 1,000 rebels this week, and plans to further release an equal number of prisoners in the next few days.

The Taliban also said they plan to release a group of government prisoners.

The deal was part of an agreement between the United States and the Taliban in February, which did not include the Afghan government. The agreement stipulates that Kabul will release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners, and militants will release about 1,000 national security personnel.

Kabul has released about 1,000 Taliban prisoners before the ceasefire, while the rebels have released about 300 government prisoners.

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