Taliban insurgents are refraining from attacking Afghan civilians for the first time in many years, according to Afghan officials and the insurgents themselves.
The change in tactics started after a Taliban cease-fire expired on June 17, and came after a six-month period that the United Nations said had been the deadliest yet for Afghan civilians.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said in a telephone interview from an undisclosed location that the insurgents had been ordered to stop suicide attacks in cities that might cause civilian casualties.
“Since the cease-fire, we have not had any martyrdom attacks in Kabul,” he said, using the Taliban term for suicide bombings. “On the martyrdom attacks in the cities, our superiors cautioned us against them, and we are going to obey their orders.”