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Partial truce in Afghanistan held despite Taliban attacks

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The week-long partial truce between the Taliban and the American and Afghan forces lasted for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday, despite numerous armed attacks and US forces hitting ISIS targets.

If the so-called “reduction in violence” continues, the United States and the Taliban are expected to sign a landmark agreement in Doha on Saturday that would encourage the Pentagon to withdraw thousands of American soldiers from Afghanistan after more than 18 years of war.

While the agreement does not reach the level of the entire ceasefire, and the insurgents insist that it only includes certain urban and military areas, the number of Taliban attacks has decreased dramatically.

An Afghan security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the Taliban attacks have decreased from an average of 75 attacks a day to about 15 since the truce began on February 22.

But in a sign of the fragility of the situation, the Ministry of the Interior said that five members of the security forces were killed in three attacks in rural areas on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the United States announced the killing of four ISIS operatives in two air strikes in Kunar province.

The organization is not a party to the “violence reduction” agreement and is being pursued by both the United States and the Taliban.

The organization began its activities in Afghanistan in 2015 and for years controlled areas in the eastern state of Nangarhar, and claimed responsibility for a group of bloody bombings in areas including Kabul.

The jihadists complicated the negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.

While the Taliban want all American forces out, the Pentagon stresses the importance of thousands remaining in Afghanistan to confront the Islamic State and other jihadi groups.

“We continue to eliminate ISIS terrorists wherever they are hiding to protect Afghanistan, while we respect the agreement between the United States, Afghans and the Taliban to reduce violence,” Sony Legate, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, wrote on Twitter.

In November, the Afghan government said that its forces had almost completely defeated the Islamic State, but many of its members had fled from Nangarhar to Kunar, adjacent to it, to seek safety.

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