Afghan Rebels Offer To Lift Blockade

In a rare gesture of conciliation, the main opposition group in the Afghan war said Friday it would temporarily lift its blockade of roads leading into the capital, Kabul.

Haji Mangal Hussain, a spokesman for the Hezb-e-Islami group, said the roads would remain open for one week while a United Nations mission negotiates with the rival Islamic factions.

Hezb-e-Islami controls most routes into the capital and has routinely blocked convoys of food and medicine.

Hussain, based in neighboring Pakistan, also said a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan was possible, though no formal agreement has been reached.

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