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U.S. General Says Afghan Military Operations Against IS Will Intensify During Cease-Fire


U.S. Army General John Nicholson, commander of Resolute Support forces and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, walks with Afghan officials during an official visit in Farah Province last month.

The top U.S. general in Afghanistan said military operations against Islamic State (IS) militants will intensify during a temporary cease-fire announced by the Afghan government.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on June 7 announced for the first time a unilateral cease-fire with the Taliban and the allied Haqqani network, coinciding with the end of the Muslim fasting month.

The truce -- which will last from June 12 until around June 20 -- excludes other militant groups such as IS.

Operations against IS "will continue, in fact will be even intensified during this period of cease-fire as we focus on [IS]," General John Nicholson told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.

U.S. counterterrorism forces are engaged in operations in the eastern province of Nangarhar, a stronghold of IS militants.

Nangarhar Province, on the border with Pakistan, has seen growing violence this year.

On May 18, IS militants claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a cricket stadium in the provincial capital, Jalalabad, that killed eight people and wounded 45.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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