Amid the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus, the United States has urged the Taliban for reduction of violence and instead, shift their focus to the global health crisis. US Special Forces Afghanistan (USFOR) spokesperson Col Sonny Leggett called out Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid a day after the report by Pentagon was released that noted spike in the attacks on America's Afghan allies even though, US Taliban had signed a peace deal in February. In a tweet, Leggett has said: “now is the time to stop”.
@Zabehulah_M33 You asked for clarity on Gen Miller’s calls for the Taliban to reduce violence. Let's clarify: The people of #Afghanistan want #peace. The world has asked the #Taliban to cease violence and focus on #COVID19. Now is the time to stop the violence. @suhailshaheen1 pic.twitter.com/9EUrUh67Bt— USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett (@USFOR_A) May 2, 2020
As the world is battling with coronavirus outbreak since the start of 2020, the United Nations mission has said that over 500 civilians were killed in the first quarter of this year in war-stricken country, Afghanistan. According to the UN mission report released on April 27, civilians had to take a severe blow of the armed conflict in the country and it killed over 150 children. The organisation had documented nearly 1,300 casualties that occurred in the first three months of 2020 in Afghanistan, out of which 533 were killed 760 were injured. However, there was still a 29 per cent decrease as compared to the same period in 2019 and is also the lowest figure for fatalities in the first quarter of the year since 2012.
While UN noted the “disturbing” increase in casualties in the “reduction of violence” period mentioned in the US-Taliban peace treaty, the militant group has shared a list of at least 50 attacks carried by American troops and Afghan forces accusing them of 'violating' the terms in the treaty. Taliban shared a three-page document only with TOLO News to back their claims with substantial information. The Taliban political office in Doha has claimed that at least 33 drone attacks have been directed by the US against the targets of the extremist group in 19 provinces between March 9 and April 10.