US special envoy on Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad says the Taliban and the Afghan government should accelerate efforts to release prisoners and lower violence.

US special envoy on Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad says the Taliban and the Afghan government should accelerate efforts to release prisoners and lower violence.

Ambassador Khalilzad twitted that based on UNAMA’s report civilian casualties fell 29 percent from the same period last year, because of the momentum created by the reduction in violence in late February.
“Both the Taliban and the government need to accelerate efforts to release prisoners and lower violence, which is the fastest means to intra-Afghan negotiations and a comprehensive permanent ceasefire,” said Khlilzad. Adding that “delay means more civilian losses from Afghans fighting each other when the real war should be Afghans united against COVID-19.”

However, the Taliban have increased their attacks against the Afghan forces since signing a peace deal with the United States.
The Taliban have mounted more than 4,500 attacks in Afghanistan, marking a sharp escalation in violence, in the 45 days since signing a deal with the United States that paves the way for a U.S. troop drawdown, according to data seen by Reuters.
Two sets of data, one from a Western military source and one from an independent body, both show attacks by the hardline Islamist group up by more than 70 percent between March 1 and April 15 compared with the same period a year ago.


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