Taliban violence spikes in Afghanistan despite peace deal

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Kabul, March 14 (IANS) The Taliban has conducted 95 attacks against Afghan forces in 10 provinces in the past 24 hours, despite the peace deal the militants signed with the US last month to reduce violence in the war-torn country, according to the Ministry of Defence.

The Ministry said on Friday that the incidents, including offensives, rockets, shelling and roadside bomb blasts, took place in Kapisa, Laghman, Kunar, Balkh, Helmand, Faryab, Badakhshan, Kunduz, Wardak and Logar, reports TOLO News.

Last week, acting Defence Minister Assadullah Khalid had warned that the Afghan forces will no longer be in a defensive mode after March 14 referring to their response to the increase in Taliban attacks.

The landmark US-Taliban deal was signed on February 29 in Doha, aimed at beginning intra-Afghan talks and ending decades of the Afghan war.

The intra-Afghan talks which were slated to begin on March 10 in Oslo were however, delayed because of the issues over the timing of the Taliban prisoner release.

According to informed sources, if the 5,000 Taliban prisoners were released, the talks would start within days.

–IANS

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