Bike Races, Street Dancing, Afghans Celebrate Temporary Truce

Hours after a historic truce took hold across their country, jubilant Afghans who have suffered decades of non-stop conflict took to the streets to celebrate what they desperately hope is a first step towards peace.
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Men were seen holding up signs for peace near the capital Kabul, dancing in celebration in the east, and mingling with Taliban fighters in the southern city of Helmand.

“Almost no civilian in Afghanistan has escaped being personally affected in some way by the ongoing violence,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, UN’s the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “It is absolutely imperative for all parties to seize the moment to stop the fighting, as peace is long overdue; civilian lives must be protected and efforts for peace are underway.”

But on Saturday in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern province Nangarhar, cycling enthusiasts donned Lycra shorts and shirts for a road race – something previously hard to imagine in a city that has been beset by attacks.

In Kandahar in the south, considered the Taliban heartland, and in Jalalabad, dozens of celebrating people danced the attan – a traditional Pashtun dance – in the streets during the night.

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Latest from Newsfeed; Saturday, February 22 2020