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Ramadan ceasefire deal reached in Kapisa

Ramadan ceasefire deal reached in Kapisa

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On
Aug 07, 2011 - 15:12

MAHMOOD RAQI (PANinfo-icon): Afghan security forces and Talibaninfo-icon have reached a ceasefire in two districts of central Kapisa province during the holy month of Ramadaninfo-icon, officials said Sunday.

A ceasefire has been in place in Tagab and Alasai districts since the beginning of Ramadan, Malik Amrullah, an elder from the Mirakhel village, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

"People urged us to mediate between the two sides and encourage them to avoid violence during the month of fasting," he said, adding that the proposal was welcomed by the security personnel and the militants. Elders expected the ceasefire would be respected by both sides, he hoped.

Anwar Khan, another local elder, praised the acceptance of their proposal.  "Each side has promised to respect the deal as long as the other does."

Col. Padishah Gul Bakhtiar, the Tagab police chief, Abdul Hakim Akhunzada, the town's administrative head, and Mullahinfo-icon Muhammad, the Alasai district chief, confirmed the Ramadan truce.

Akhunzada said the government had accepted the proposal in the interest of public service. Muhammad called on Taliban to shun violence and join the peace process.

A local Taliban commander, who wished not to be named, said they would respect the truce as long as security forces avoided operations against them during the holy month.  

"Jihadinfo-icon is an unending project; we have agreed to the ceasefire in deference to Ramadan and the proposal of locals," the commander added.

Residents also hailed the move, hoping the truce might be respected beyond the current month. "I am delighted that Taliban and government forces have honoured our proposal," said Faizullah, a resident of Tagab.

There were different forms of violence, including clashes and bomb attacks, before Ramadan, he complained. "Thank God, guns have now fallen silent in the district."

Attaur Rahman, a resident of Alasai district, had a similar view. "Thankfully, the last seven days have been calm."

mam/mud

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