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Saturday, Mar 1, 2014

Asia

Pakistani Taliban announce month-long ceasefire

Saturday, Mar 1, 2014

Mufti Hassan Swati (R), the local commandor of Peshawar of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), sits with commandor major Mast Gul Mangel as he talks with AFP in the Waziristan tribal area on February 5, 2014.

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan - Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid on Saturday announced a month-long ceasefire to allow the resumption of stalled peace talks with the Pakistan government.

"We announce a month-long ceasefire from today and appeal to all our comrades to respect the decision and refrain from any activity during this period," the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) spokesman told AFP.

"Because of a positive response from the government, an appeal from the religious scholars and for the better future of Pakistan we have decided not to carry out any activity (attacks) for one month," he said.

Last month Islamabad began peace talks with the Taliban in an attempt to end a seven-year insurgency which has cost thousands of lives.

But the militant group continued to carry out attacks in the country on a near-daily basis.

Government mediators later suspended dialogue with their Taliban counterparts after the insurgents claimed they had executed 23 kidnapped soldiers in a northwestern tribal region.

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