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NATO to suspend aggressive operations in Afghanistan on Int'l Peace Day
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10:58, September 21, 2008

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The commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan General David McKiernan has ordered his troops to halt all operations on Sunday in honor of the International Peace Day observed on Sept. 21, a statement of the military alliance released on Saturday said.

"In support of the UNAMA Peace Day, ISAF forces will not engage in offensive operations from midnight on Saturday Sept. 20 until midnight on Sept. 21," NATO's statement added.

"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," NATO's top commander in Afghanistan stressed in the statement.

"This has been agreed by the Government of Afghanistan and the ISAF as a show of their mutual intent to bring peace to Afghanistan and an end to the insurgency that threatens to undermine the future peace and prosperity of the Afghan nation," it added.

The statement issued in the wake of President Hamid Karzai's order on Friday in which he called on Afghan and some 71,000-strong international troops as well as Taliban to observe the UN-backed International Peace Day this Sunday.

Afghan President in his speech aired by local radios and televisions 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 rebuild their war-ravaged country.

Source: Xinhua

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