Taliban announces three-day Eid ceasefire in Afghanistan

Ashraf Ghani

Ashraf Ghani

The Afghan president's office welcomes Taliban's agreement to a ceasefire during Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

The issue has reportedly undermined the Afghan forces capability to fight the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

"Mujahideen are instructed to halt offensives against local opponents, but defend if they are attacked", the group said.

The Taliban attacked security outposts in the Zawul district of western Herat province on Friday night, killing 17 troops and wounding several, Jelani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor, said.

Conversations with diplomats and senior officials in Kabul suggest that the unilateral cease-fire announced by the government had not been coordinated with the Taliban or the outcome of a broader, cohesive peace effort.

The move came days after a gathering of Afghanistan's top clerics in Kabul called for a ceasefire and issued a fatwa against suicide bombings and attacks.

It is unclear when the ceasefire will begin, as Eid begins when the moon is first sighted.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the truce was intended for the Eid holiday and would not affect the group's larger objectives, which include the departure of foreign troops from Afghanistan.




The Taliban statement said worldwide forces in the US -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation coalition would still be the target of attacks.

The US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formally concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014, but the US still has thousands of forces based there in a support and counterterrorism role. "For Afghans, there is no good war or bad peace", Mr. Stanikzai said, quoting Benjamin Franklin.

"(Operations against ISIS) will continue, in fact will be even intensified during this period of ceasefire", U.S. Army General John Nicholson, commander of United States and global forces in Afghanistan, told reporters.

Laurel Miller, who served as a senior US official for Afghanistan and Pakistan under both Obama and Trump, said that while any action to reduce violence was positive, the differing terms and timelines for the two parties' cease-fires made the current circumstance a fragile one.

In February, Ghani offered recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group in a proposed political process that he said could lead to talks to end more than 16 years of war.

However, the district administrative chief Amanuddin Qureshi confirmed the incident said doznes of Taliban insurgents launched a coordinated attack on security posts in Baghcha and Kalokh areas, leaving at least 25 people dead.

"We hope that (the Taliban) will be committed to implementing their announcement of the cease-fire", he said. He added that eight Taliban attackers were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded during the gun battle.

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