Afghan Leader Declares Unilateral Cease-Fire in Fight Against Taliban

Afghan Leader Declares Unilateral Cease-Fire in Fight Against Taliban
Afghan Leader Declares Unilateral Cease-Fire in Fight Against Taliban

“Afghan national defense and security forces will only stop offensive maneuvers against armed Afghan Taliban and will continue to target Daesh and other foreign-backed terrorist organizations and their affiliates,” he said in reference to Islamic State fighters and other insurgents.

Mr. Ghani’s security officials said the decision to declare a cease-fire was discussed with army corps commanders as well as with regional police chiefs on Wednesday in Kabul, and they were sent to their headquarters to prepare their forces for the halt in fighting.

The abrupt nature of Mr. Ghani’s call was sure to rattle military units, which have been pinned down by the Taliban and which, over 17 years of consistent fighting, have not given much thought to how they might carry out a cease-fire.

Gen. Akhtar Mohammed Ibrahimi, the deputy interior minister, said Mr. Ghani’s cease-fire plan was coordinated with the American military also, which is responsible for a large number of airstrikes against the Taliban.

“We are aware of President Ghani’s announcement, but have nothing else to add at this time,” a spokesman for the United States military said.

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