Taliban and Afghan govt forces ceasefire to celebrate religious holiday

US drone kills Taliban chief wanted in Malala attack says Ghani

US drone kills Taliban chief wanted in Malala attack says Ghani

At least 20 people were killed and 16 others wounded in Rodat outside the Nangarhar provincial capital of Jalalabad, provincial governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said.

The US strike comes amid a ceasefire between the Afghan Taliban and Afghan security forces to mark the end of the Muslim's holy month of Ramazan.

A US official said the USA believes that it is likely the strike killed Fazlullah, but efforts are ongoing to confirm his death.

The Taliban refused to extend their ceasefire beyond Sunday night, dampening hopes for peace after jubilant scenes over the Eid holidays in Afghanistan.

In a rare televised address to the nation, Ghani also asked the Taliban to extend their three-day ceasefire which is due to end Sunday.

No one has claimed the attacks, but they appear to be the work of the Islamic State group, which is not included in the cease-fire and has clashed with the Taliban in the past.

The first formal nationwide ceasefire since the 2001 USA invasion had been widely welcomed across the country as Afghans - Taliban, security forces and civilians - celebrated Eid, the holiday that caps the fasting month of Ramadan.

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.

A government statement says an "action had finally been taken against an enemy of the people and state of Pakistan".

Dozens of unarmed Taliban militants entered cities on Saturday to celebrate an unprecedented ceasefire.




The insurgent group insisted the brief cessation of hostilities across Afghanistan has established the Taliban is a "united force" not being backed by any foreign nation and it is capable of implementing all key decisions like the Eid ceasefire.

Meanwhile Atta-ul-Rahman Salim, deputy head of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, said Taliban fighters from across the country were entering into government-controlled areas to visit their families "and they were being welcomed by government security forces".

Officials said that Afghan security personnel, Taliban fighters and civilians were among the victims. Observers say it is unlikely that the militant group will engage in any negotiations, as they now have the upper hand on the battleground.

IS were not part of the three-day Eid truce. "We are ready for comprehensive negotiation, all those issues and demands that have been put-forth we are ready to discuss them at the peace talks", Ghani said.

A Taliban fighter on a motorbike carrying Afghan and Taliban flags warned long-lasting peace would only be achieved if United States forces left the country.

The only time direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have been held, in 2015, they broke down nearly immediately. As President Ghani emphasized in his statement to the Afghan people, peace talks by necessity would include a discussion of the role of global actors and forces.

The government also released some Taliban prisoners, he said.

Taliban is fighting US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces, combined under the Resolute Support mission, and Ghani's US-backed government to restore sharia, or Islamic law, after their ouster by US-led forces in 2001.

The explosion occurred in the eastern province of Nangarhar around 5:15 p.m. local time, according to CNN. But they have refused to meet with the USA -backed government, saying they will only negotiate with the United States directly.

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