Taliban Ready to Begin Cease-Fires in Virus-Hit Afghan Areas

The Taliban said Wednesday the group was ready to declare a cease-fire in areas of Afghanistan under its control if they are hit by a coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement follows a U.N. Security Council statement Tuesday urging Afghanistan’s warring parties to heed the U.N. secretary-general’s call for an immediate cease-fire to respond to the pandemic and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid throughout the country.

“If, God forbid, the outbreak happens in an area where we control the situation then we will stop fighting in that area,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Muajhed told The Associated Press.

The Taliban have also said they would guarantee the security of health and aid workers traveling to their areas offering assistance to prevent the spread of the new virus.

It wasn’t clear how many cases would need to be confirmed in any given area for the insurgent group to announce a cease-fire and there was no immediate response from the government.

2 / April 2020
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