The Taliban announced a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan on Sunday, Dec. 29, in an effort to encourage a possible peace agreement with the United States, according to The Associated Press.
The statement was released by the Taliban’s ruling council, but officials from the insurgent group did not announce when it would begin.
For one week four members of the negotiating team met with the ruling council to discuss the cease-fire measure, which is estimated to last 10 days. In the meantime, the Taliban chief is expected to approve the peace agreement once it is drafted.
Since September 2018, the United States has held talks with the Taliban, in the last round of talks envoy Zalmay Khalilzad proposed a final cease-fire.
As OAN has reported, if the agreement is approved, it would lead to a withdrawal of all U.S. troops in Afghanistan and would end the military commitment that the United States has had for 18 years.
The announcement of a cease-fire came amid an escalation of tension over an attack led by the Taliban last week that left dozens of people injured.
The United States last week reported the death of Sgt. 1st Class Michael Goble, from a roadside bomb blast. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
Taliban extremists ambushed a checkpoint in northern Afghanistan last Tuesday. According to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who officially claimed responsibility for the attack, the Taliban captured four Afghan troops.
“As a result of this attack, seven Afghan Army soldiers died and three others were wounded,” Afghan Defense Ministry officials said in a statement, adding, “Three National Directorate of Security (NDS) staff were also injured.”
President Donald Trump suspended the talks in September after a surge in violence in the Afghan capital, Kabul, led to the death of an American soldier.
However, the talks were resumed after President Trump made a surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan in late November and then announced that the Taliban was ready to talk and agree to reduce violence in the territory.