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Pakistani Taliban Announces Cease-fire

The Pakistani Taliban says it will observe a one-month cease-fire to allow peace talks with the government to resume.

Spokesman Shahidullah Shahid announced Saturday the senior leadership of the militant group had instructed all of its subgroups to abide by the cease-fire. The militant organization cited a "positive" government response to its "proposals" for ending the deadlock in the dialogue process.

Government peace negotiators welcomed the announcement as a "breakthrough development."

The government suspended previous negotiation attempts when insurgents in the northwest said they had killed 23 Pakistani troops.

Government forces have pounded suspected militant hideouts in the northwest with airstrikes in recent days. There has been speculation in Pakistan that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was on the verge of ordering of a full-scale military offensive against militant bases.

The Pakistani Taliban has wanted to overthrow the government and establish its own hard-line form of Islam across the country. Militant attacks have killed tens of thousands of Pakistanis.

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