NATO to suspend offensive on International Peace Day

September 20th, 2008 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, Sep 20 (Xinhua) The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan will halt its offensive against militants Sunday to mark the UN-declared International Peace Day, a military statement released here Saturday said. “In support of the International Peace Day, ISAF forces will not engage in offensive operations from midnight Saturday Sep 20 until midnight Sep 21,” the statement said.

The forces will, however, appropriately react to attacks by militants.

“The insurgents must be in no doubt that the ISAF will defend itself and the people of Afghanistan from offensive action by the enemies of Afghanistan,” ISAF commander General David McKiernan said in the statement.

President Hamid Karzai Friday urged the Afghan army, the foreign troops as well Taliban militants to observe the UN-backed International Peace Day Sep 21 every year.

The president in a nationally broadcast speech ordered his troops to avoid firing unless attacked by militants.

He also urged Taliban insurgents to give up militancy and join the peace process to help in rebuilding the war-ravaged country.

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