Snow brings fighting to a halt in Afghanistan

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Snow and rainfall have brought about a natural cease-fire in many parts of Afghanistan following weeks of violence that claimed hundreds of lives, officials said on Friday.

There has been no report of any major attack since late Wednesday when the country received its first snow of the season, said Fawad Aman, a spokesperson for the Defense Ministry in Kabul. He said there was only one reported death of a Taliban commander, in an airstrike in Balkh Thursday night.

The US-led coalition also did not report conducting any air strike or offensive in the past 50 hours.

“Unlike the past weeks, when both sides claimed to have killed scores of each side’s fighters routinely, you hardly see any report of fighting or casualties by either side on their statements or on media since snow fall began lately,” said Taj Mohammed, a political analyst.

“It seems like there is a natural cease-fire in large parts of the country because of snow and rain.”

Estimates by Taliban and government forces show that hundreds of combatants were killed in attacks and counter-attacks in various parts of the country in past two weeks.

Lawmakers from Balkh said that about 100 security force personnel were killed in a series of Taliban attacks during the course of past week alone.

Taliban and US diplomats are expected in days to resume their talks on ending the war, after several weeks of pause, suggested by US officials to allow the militants to consult with their leaders on announcing a truce for continuation of talks.

The snowfall not only brought natural lull in battlefields across Afghanistan, but also became a major source of relief for people in Kabul — a city of 4.6 million marred by deadly air quality and severe drought.

“Snow is indeed a blessing of God, we can breath the air in Kabul and do not feel suffocated anymore. I hope it snows more,” said a shopkeeper in Kabul who gave his name as Matiullah.

Courtesy: (arabnews)