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Afghan, Foreign Forces Agree to Suspend Operations for Peace Day


Afghan and international forces have agreed to suspend military operations on September 21 in observance of United Nations "Peace Day."

In a statement, NATO says its troops will not engage in offensive operations for 24 hours, beginning at midnight Saturday.

But NATO says soldiers will continue to guard personnel and installations, saying NATO will defend itself and the Afghan people from offensive action by the enemies of Afghanistan.

The statement follows similar remarks by Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday, saying Afghan troops will not attack unless attacked first.

A Taliban spokesman Saturday told reporters the radical Islamic group supports the idea of Peace Day, and that the Taliban are trying to free the country from Western "invaders."

U.N. spokesman Adrian Edwards says Peace Day was an apolitical day and that the U.N. welcomed all statements of support.

The U.N. is beginning a three-day campaign to vaccinate 1.8 million children against polio on Sunday, in honor of Peace Day.

Separately, the U.S.-led coalition says one of its soldiers and two Afghans were killed Saturday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan.

And NATO says two of its soldiers were killed Saturday when a bomb hit their patrol in eastern Afghanistan.

The soldiers' nationalities were not released.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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