Taliban fighters kidnap over 100 people after buses ambushed

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The Taliban militants have seized the control of Bulcharagh district in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan after days of heavy clashes. Large-scale bombings and attacks by the Taliban have killed scores of people.

Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, the head of the provincial council in Kunduz province, says the insurgents stopped the buses near Khan Abad district.

Taliban said that during the ceasefire, they will not attack the Afghan troops and other security forces but would defend themselves in case they came under attack.

Abdul Rahman Aqtash, a police chief in neighbouring Takhar province, said the passengers had been on their way to Kabul.

"So far, there is no news on the fate of the passengers, but tribal elders and local officials are trying to negotiate with the Taliban", Ayubi added.

However the offer drew mixed responses among Afghans, with some slamming the idea of welcoming Taliban fighters back into their cities to eat ice cream and pose for selfies like they had during the three-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday in June.

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed Ghani's announcement and called on the Taliban to participate.

Earlier this month, the Taliban launched a major assault on the eastern city of Ghazni, just 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Kabul and the capital of a province with the same name.

The June ceasefire - the first such truce in the country since the 2001 U.S. invasion - spurred hopes that a new path was opening for possible peace talks in the country to the end the almost 17-year-old war.

The president, however, linked the ceasefire with similar announcement from the Taliban side and added sustainability of the truce belonged to the Taliban commitment. Afghan security forces battled the militants inside the city for five days, as the USA carried out airstrikes and sent advisers to help the Afghan ground forces.

This month at least 150 soldiers and 95 civilians were killed in a five-day battle for control of Ghazni.

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