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US military launches airstrikes against Taliban as Afghanistan ceasefire ends

US military launches airstrikes against Taliban as Afghanistan ceasefire ends

The US conducted its first airstrikes against the Taliban since a rare ceasefire between the insurgents and Afghan forces ended more than a week ago. The two assaults took place on Thursday and Friday, in Farah province in the west and in Kandahar in the south, spokesman Sonny Leggett tweeted on Friday.

“These were the 1st US airstrikes against (the Taliban) since the start of the Eid ceasefire,” he wrote. “We reiterate: All sides must reduce violence to allow the peace process to take hold,” he added.

The airstrikes were intended to foil the militant group’s plan to launch attacks on Afghan security forces, according to the military. A Taliban spokesman refused to comment on the airstrikes, which were conducted at a time when the US is steadily pulling its troops out of Afghanistan, Reuters said.

The US signed a deal with the Taliban in February, in which it pledged to withdraw all US troops in return for security guarantees.