On the third day of the weeklong reduction in violence pact, also called RIV, three incidents were confirmed, one each in Balkh, Helmand and Samangan province. These incidents included casualties as well.
The week-long reduction in violence started on Saturday, Feb. 22.
Eight Taliban clashes were reported in the first day of the reduction in violence while two confirmed incidents were reported on the second day.
On the third day, however, the casualties were high. At least four members of public uprising forces and three civilians – including a woman – were killed in an attack by the Taliban on the public uprising forces outpost in Chahar Kint district in the northern Balkh province after midnight on Monday.
Local officials said two members of the public uprising forces were taken by the Taliban. The Taliban has not confirmed this claim.
Over the past three days, Helmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan, Balkh, Kapisa and Samangan provinces have witnessed anti-security incidents.
Helmand and Balkh have witnessed attacks twice over the past three days.
“Today, attacks were held by the Taliban in Balkh, Helmand and Samangan provinces and three security force members were martyred and eight others were wounded,” said Nusrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.
The reduction in violence was widely welcomed by Afghans in different parts of the country as many hoped this would end the decades of war in the country.
“We want peace. We are tired of war,” said Rafiullah Rouhani, a Helmand resident.
“Today, we are witnessing a reduction in violence, and tomorrow, we hope to see peace,” said Qais Hashimi, a Helmand resident.
Feroz, a Border Force member in Helmand, said he has lost four members of his family in the war but he hopes that his children will witness a prosperous and peaceful future.
“We are tired of war and the Taliban is also tired of war. We have had enough war,” Feroz said.
There are debates about whether this period of reduction in violence will be followed by a similar period.
A former Taliban member, Sayed Akbar Agha, seemed optimistic about the stance of the group in this respect.
“The Taliban has a good stance in this respect because it has not been mentioned in the agreement about what should be done after, and it is not mentioned in the agreement about the period between the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations and their (the Taliban’s) operations (when this round of RIV ends),” he said.
The US and the Taliban will sign a peace deal if the reduction in violence agreement is kept for seven days. This signed peace deal is expected to be followed by the start of intra-Afghan negotiations.