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Taliban threaten more attacks if peace deal not honored

Spokesman accuses US, allies in Afghanistan of violating peace agreement

Islamuddin Sajid   | 06.04.2020
Taliban threaten more attacks if peace deal not honored

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

The Afghan Taliban warned Sunday that it will resume full-scale attacks if a peace agreement signed with the U.S. in February is not followed in letter and spirit.

In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid accused the Afghan government of delaying the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners which was promised under the agreement.

"The Islamic Emirate has so far remained committed to the agreement and its contents. U.S. officials have also acknowledged that the Islamic Emirate's mujahideen have acted on compromises," Mujahid said in a statement, referring to the Taliban’s shadow government.

Until intra-Afghan talks lead to a separate agreement with Afghan leaders, the Taliban can attack the Kabul administration’s military centers but has refrained from doing so, he added

"The American side and their internal and external military supporters have committed several violations, including not releasing the 5,000 prisoners, carrying out attacks on Taliban centers and raids and bombing of civilian settlements," Mujahid said

The agreement has been violated in the Afghan provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Farah, Kunduz, Nangarhar, Paktia, Badakhshan, Balkh and other parts of the country, the details of which have been communicated to the American side from time to time, he added

Mujahid urged the U.S. to respect the content of the agreement and asked its allies in Afghanistan to follow the agreement in its full sprit.

"If such breaches continue, it would create an atmosphere of mistrust that will not only damage the agreement but also force the mujahideen to respond similarly and will increase the level of fighting," he warned.

The Taliban have demanded the release of 5,000 of their militants in return for the release of 1,000 captives, including Afghan government officials and security personnel.

The Afghan government, however, insists on releasing them in phases along with intra-Afghan talks and a ceasefire in place.

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