Taliban target Afghan army in country’s south, kill 10

Since the beginning of 2019 20 US service members have died in Afghanistan in combat-related incidents

Since the beginning of 2019 20 US service members have died in Afghanistan in combat-related incidents

The attack in Helmand comes as local and global forces brace for another deadly winter amid U.S. -Taliban talks to end the violence in Afghanistan.

A Taliban official familiar with the on-again, off-again talks taking place in Qatar, confirmed to AP that the release of around 5,000 prisoners of Taliban has been written in to the agreement which is under discussion. "Those protection payments aided and abetted terrorism by directly funding an al-Qaeda-backed Taliban insurgency that killed and injured thousands of Americans". The Taliban did not specify the duration of the cease-fire, though it was suggested the truce would last for 10 days.

The Taliban reportedly took responsibility for the attack, which remains under investigation.

"MTN is reviewing the details of the report and is consulting its advisors but remains of the view that it conducts its business in a responsible and compliant manner in all its territories", the company said in a statement.

According to the report, it is possible that the ceasefire will pave the way for a peace agreement between the U.S. and the Afghan Taliban.

"The UN urges all stakeholders to seek ways to reduce levels of violence, especially the violence which harms civilians, on the way to a lasting political settlement and a permanent ceasefire". He said the insurgents captured four Afghan troops. The U.S. wants the deal to include a promise from the Taliban that Afghanistan would not used as a base by any terrorist group.

Chief Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid noted in a statement that internal consultations at the leadership level are now underway to consider a US request for the insurgent group to reduce violence.

President Donald Trump announced late last month during a Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan that peace negotiations between the Taliban and the United States had restarted.

The Taliban announced on Sunday that they have agreed to a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan, providing hope that a potential peace agreement could move forward with the USA and the Afghan government.

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) said in part, "There is no greater commitment than the one we have to those who have protected our nation and to the families who have supported them oceans away".

Gottheimer added, "Tonight, let us all pray for them, for the sacrifice he made to our great country, and for his memory".

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