Afghanistan imposes night-time curfew to limit Taliban movements

Afghanistan has imposed a night-time curfew to limit the movements of the Taliban across the country, a day after the group demanded the removal of President Ashraf Ghani.

“To curb violence and limit the Taliban movements, a night curfew has been imposed in 31 provinces across the country,” the Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The curfew is not imposed in the capital Kabul, Panjshir, and Nangarhar, said Ahmad Zia Zia, a deputy interior ministry spokesman.

The militants are actively expanding operations across the country as the United States completes a withdrawal of all its forces.

On Thursday, the US military carried out airstrikes “to support” Afghan troops against offensives by the Taliban, according to the Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

The Taliban said in a statement on Friday that the airstrikes amounted to “a clear violation of the signed agreement that will have consequences.”

The statement was referring to a deal signed with the US last year, which called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan. The agreement also obliged the Taliban to hold peace talks with the Afghan government.

Very little progress has been made so far.

The militants also said in the statement that a peace deal will be reached only if there is a new negotiated government and that President Ghani is removed from power.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told the Associated Press that the group will lay down weapons when a negotiated government acceptable to all sides in the conflict is installed in Kabul.

“I want to make it clear that we do not believe in the monopoly of power because any governments who (sought) to monopolize power in Afghanistan in the past were not successful governments.”

“So we do not want to repeat that same formula.”

Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada said last week that he “strenuously favors” a political settlement to end decades of conflict in the county.

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