NATO Secretary General welcomes ceasefire announcement by Taliban

Governance & Politics

Governance & Politics

Hours before yesterday's announcement, Taleban militants stormed an Afghan military base in the western province of Herat, killing at least 17 soldiers, officials said.

Taliban movement on Saturday declared a three-day ceasefire with Afghan security forces during Eid al-Fitr for the first time since 2001 and two days after President Ashraf Ghani announced a unilateral ceasefire.

The Taliban announced its first ceasefire in Afghanistan since the 2001 USA invasion on June 9, with a three-day halt in hostilities against the country's security forces that was greeted with relief by war-weary Afghans. They say foreign forces are excluded from the cease-fire and Taliban operations would continue against them.

Modi was referring to the Afghan government's surprise announcement of the week-long ceasefire with the Taliban for Eid.

The Taliban's announcement Saturday of a temporary cease-fire did more than offer hope in war-weary Afghanistan for a quiet Eid al-Fitr, one of the most important holidays in the Islamic year.

The Islamic State extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's AMAQ news agency said.

"Pakistan wishes to reiterate its support of recent peace initiatives in Afghanistan".

But by the intractably violent standards of Afghanistan, the Taliban's first cease-fire pledge was cause for hope, and the timing seemed to present an opening for talks to prolong the break in hostilities. They have agreed to move forward in identifying a specific project initially in the area of capacity building in Afghanistan.

"Since our people are under occupation, jihad is incumbent on us", he said.

It is the first time since the USA -led invasion of Afghanistan that toppled the Taliban regime in 2001 that the militants have declared a cease-fire, albeit a limited one.

In the eastern Nangarhar province, a suicide bomber wounded at least 10 civilians when he struck near the education department in the provincial capital of Jalalabad, said Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor.

All the deaths were claimed by the Taliban.

Pakistani officials; however, told The Express Tribune that the ceasefire between the Afghan government and insurgents were being discussed quietly for past several weeks.

But residents of a number of provinces said they are happy that they will get a few peaceful days during Eid. "We wanted them to be confident that we also won't do any operations".

"Only three days the Taleban are not killing us".

Provincial police spokesman Enhamuddin Rahmani confirmed the death toll and said eight Taliban fighters were also killed.

In its statement, the Afghan Taliban said it would allow prisoners to visit with families and asked for the group's regional leaders to commute some prisoners' sentences.

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