Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Afghan Taliban announce three-day ceasefire on Eid

Afghan Taliban announce three-day ceasefire on Eid

The militants also say they will defend themselves, if attacked.

Three days back, President Ashraf Ghani said the Afghan government supporting recent Ulema fatwa in Kabul had made a decision to announce ceasefire with the Taliban from 27 of Ramadan (June 12) until fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Supporters of the Islamic State militant group also have carried out deadly attacks separate from the Taliban.

Noori said that elsewhere in Ghazni, at least three local police and 10 Taliban were killed in clashes.

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Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah on Monday welcomed the Taliban's positive response to government's ceasefire announcement, saying that the continuation of war in the country is only beneficial to the enemy.

It was not clear exactly when the ceasefire would begin, as Eid starts when the moon is first sighted, but Afghan calendars mark Friday June 15 as the end of Ramadan. "The Afghan government will take all steps needed to make sure that there is no bloodshed in Afghanistan".

The unexpected cease-fire came two days after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's own surprise announcement of a weeklong halt to operations against the Taliban and allied Haqqani network.

The conflict has been at a stalemate for several years, and NATO's best chances of leaving lie in the Taliban agreeing to peace talks and eventually joining the government.

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Jarett Blanc, a former USA diplomat who was involved in earlier efforts to start a peace process with the Taliban, said the cease-fire provides an opportunity for both sides to demonstrate control over their armed forces. Asif Shinwari, head of Education Department for Nangarhar said that gunmen have attacked the education department's building in Jalalabad.

For the festival, Taliban fighters "are instructed to stop their offensive operations against domestic opposition", the militant group said in a statement to the New York Times, referring to Afghan forces. "It is much easier than shed blood in the battlefield, kill and spread hatred", Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, Taliban's former ambassador to Pakistan, told VOA.

But casualties from suicide bombings and attacks were up 17% previous year as the Taliban and IS ramp up assaults in urban areas, particularly Kabul. "Insurgents have set fire to two military Humvees as well as the checkpoint", he said.

But others were more cautious, warning that the Taliban and its brutal arm the Haqqani Network could launch attacks on behalf of the Islamic State group, which they are believed to have done previously.

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