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April 6, 2020

Taliban say deal with US near breaking point

Top Story

April 6, 2020

KABUL: The Taliban has said the deal with the United States aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan was nearing a breaking point, accusing Washington of violations that included drone attacks on civilians, while also chastising the Afghan government for delaying the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners promised in the agreement, foreign media reported on Sunday. The Taliban said it had restricted attacks against Afghan security forces to rural outposts and had not attacked international forces or Afghan forces in cities or military installations.

The group warned of more violence if the US and the Afghan government continue alleged violations of the deal, adding that continued violations would "create an atmosphere of mistrust that will not only damage the agreements, but also force mujaheddin to a similar response and will increase the level of fighting".

"We are seriously asking the Americans to abide by the contents of the agreement and to alert their allies to fully abide by the agreement," the Taliban statement read.

The Taliban has accused the Afghan government of using "indefensible arguments" to explain the repeated delays in releasing a promised 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for 1,000 government personnel. The US military in Afghanistan rejected the Taliban’s claim, saying it had upheld the military terms of the agreement and that Taliban's assertions were "baseless".

"USFOR-A has been clear - we will defend our ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces) partners if attacked, in compliance with the agreement," US Forces Afghanistan spokesman Colonel Sonny Leggett tweeted.