Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Eid ceasefire proved 'wide support' for Afghan Taliban, they say

Eid ceasefire proved 'wide support' for Afghan Taliban, they say

The explosion occurred in a district where dozens of civilians, members of the Taliban and government security forces were celebrating the cease-fire and the Islamic festival of Eid, said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

The extraordinary festivities were marred by a suicide attack in the eastern province of Nangarhar on Saturday that was later claimed by Daesh group´s franchise in Afghanistan.

He also asked the Taliban to extend their three-day ceasefire, which is due to end on Sunday, and begin peace talks.

Both sides had declared overlapping cease-fires and unarrned Taliban militants had entered Afghan cities Saturday.

An offshoot of the Islamic State, which has had a foothold in the province and has been behind some of the deadliest recent attacks there, claimed responsibility for the attack outside the provincial capital of Jalalabad, according to the tracking group Terror Monitor.

"They are unarmed as they handed over their weapons at the entrances", Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai told Reuters.

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Members of the Afghan Taliban have been embracing Afghan security forces amid the ceasefire - something that would have seemed impossible just a few days ago, the BBC reported.

Mulk made the comment in a telephone conversation Friday night with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and thanked him for sharing information about Fazlullah's killing, said a Pakistan government statement. "Everyone is exhausted of war and if our leaders order us to continue the ceasefire, we will hold it forever".

"During the cease-fire, we will provide medical assistance to the wounded Taliban, and will provide them any humanitarian assistance if needed", Ghani said on Twitter.

The incident comes in the wake of several deadly attacks that had hit the country soon after, Taliban, which has waged a bloody armed rebellion against Kabul since it was removed from power in 2001, also agreed to reciprocate to the government's decision to sign a three-day-truce to coincide with celebrations of Eid-ul-Fitr.

He said if the ceasefire continued, it would allow everyone to share their resources in order to help affected people.

"The announcement (of the ceasefire), implementation and the wide national support and welcome of the Mujahideen by the people proves that the demands of the Islamic Emirate and the nation are identical - all want the withdrawal of foreign invaders and establishment of an Islamic government", they said.

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They would, however, continue attacking US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops.

Forty-one others were injured in the attack.

A wounded man is brought by stretcher into a hospital in Jalalabad city, capital of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday after the bombing.

"I'm 40 years old and this is the best Eid I've had in my entire life", one Kandahar resident said on a BBC radio phone-in.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, echoing Ghani's remarks, said peace talks would have to include a discussion on the role of "international actors and forces". Most of the casualties were believed to be Taliban. "The Afghan government is ready to discuss issues of mutual concern with neighboring countries, and presence of foreign forces", the president added.

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