The State Department has confirmed that the Taliban group has taken steps to stop attacks against the coalition forces and in the cities but the group is still killing too many Afghans in the countryside.

Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokesperson said the current high level of violence by the Taliban is unacceptable.

“We acknowledge the Taliban have taken steps to stop attacks against the Coalition and in cities,” Ortagus said in a statement, adding that “But they are killing too many Afghans in the countryside.”

She also added “This must change. Violence at these levels risks drawing both sides into a vicious cycle, serves no one, and undermines peace.”

This comes as efforts are underway to launch intra-Afghan dialogue following the signing of a peace deal between the United States and Taliban group late last month.

The Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday signed a decree to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners on the occasion of intra-Afghan talks but the decree emphasizes that the remaining 3,500 prisoners would be released on the condition that there is a considerable reduction in violence.

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