• Monday, Apr 06, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:55 am

Afghanistan partial truce holds on eve of US-Taliban deal

  • Published at 11:07 pm February 28th, 2020
US-Taliban-Afghanistan
Taliban members who were former prisoners held by the US attend the Intra Afghan Dialogue talks in the Qatari capital Doha on July 7, 2019 AFP

Afghan officials will be conspicuously absent from Saturday's signing ceremony in Doha, but a government delegation will be there to make "initial contacts" with the insurgents

A partial truce between the Taliban, US and Afghan troops held for a seventh day Friday, with only minor attacks reported on the eve of a deal to withdraw American troops.

The accord would see thousands of American troops quit Afghanistan after more than 18 years, in return for various security commitments from the Taliban and a pledge to hold talks with the government in Kabul.

Afghan officials will be conspicuously absent from Saturday's signing ceremony in Doha, but a government delegation will be there to make "initial contacts" with the insurgents.

While the ongoing truce does not amount to a full ceasefire, the number of Taliban attacks has fallen dramatically, with only isolated attacks in rural areas breaking the calm.

But in a sign of the underlying tensions, the Afghan interior ministry said a policeman was killed and three people were injured in three attacks on Friday.

A day earlier, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a bombing in Kabul which left one person dead and 10 others wounded.

The presence of the jihadists in Afghanistan has complicated negotiations between Washington and the Taliban. 

While the Taliban want all American forces out, the Pentagon insists thousands must remain in Afghanistan to tackle IS and other militant groups.