Taliban Ends Partial Truce, Will Resume Offensives Against Afghan Government

(Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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The Taliban announced it would resume offensive operations against forces of the Afghanistan government Monday, ending a temporary truce that preceded the signing of Saturday’s peace deal.

The announcement, and subsequent explosion in eastern Afghanistan, came just over a day after the U.S. signed a peace deal with the terror group. Notably, the Taliban did not say it would break its truce with U.S.

The explosion Monday left three dead and 11 injured after a motorbike strapped with explosives drove into a soccer match, according to DW. The attack took place in the eastern Khost province of Afghanistan.

The Saturday peace deal is contingent on the Taliban reducing its terror activities in the region, with the U.S. withdrawing troops in stages over the next 14 months if the Taliban holds to the bargain.

A Taliban spokesman specified that they would not be resuming attacks against “foreign forces,” only those of the Afghan government. Part of the deal stipulated that the government forces in Kabul must begin peace negotiations with the Taliban in Oslo, Norway.

State Department officials did not respond to a request for comment on how this development will affect the peace deal. (RELATED: Trump Announces Pompeo To Finalize Peace Deal With Taliban)

Prior to the peace deal signing, officials emphasized to reporters on background that the troop withdrawals will happen “if and only if” the Taliban hold up their end of the deal.

The signing only took place after the Taliban proved willing and capable of minimizing violence under the reduction in violence agreement signed earlier in February.

Among the officials’ top priorities was ensuring that a U.S. withdrawal didn’t result in a power vacuum, as it had in Iraq under the Obama administration, leading to the rise of ISIS.

“If this all blows up that’s unfortunate, but fine, we’ll just start killing them again,” one official said.