Afghan Taliban hold fire in quake zone

2015-10-29 17:27
A man starts rebuilding his home after a massive earthquake. (AP Photo/Aqeel Ahmed)

A man starts rebuilding his home after a massive earthquake. (AP Photo/Aqeel Ahmed)

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Kabul - The Taliban on Thursday announced a ceasefire in areas of Afghanistan affected by a powerful quake that hit the region earlier this week, killing hundreds of people across three countries.

The surprise announcement came three days after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake shook parts of the Hindu Kush from Tajikistan to India and killed more than 400 people, with most of the deaths in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"We have advised our mujahideen to refrain from attacking anyone who is trying to assist the victims of the quake, including the Kabul administration," said Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid.

If Afghan Taliban fighters were attacked, however, they would retaliate, he said.

Mujahid did not reveal how long the truce would last, nor did he detail which provinces were covered by the ceasefire.

The Afghan provinces most affected by the quake were Badakhshan, Takhar, Nuristan, Kunar, Nangarhar, Kabul, and Baghlan.

"We are not aware of this announcement, and it cannot be trusted unless the leadership of the Afghan government confirms it," said Mohammad Aslam Sayyaf, head of Emergency Relief Operations in Afghanistan's Disaster Management Authority.

"Our departments have actively started relief and assistance efforts in the provinces affected under the guidance of the provincial governors since yesterday," Sayyaf said.

Read more on:    taliban  |  afghanistan  |  earthquakes

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