Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Afghan Taliban Announces Three-Day Cease-Fire Over Eid Holiday

Afghan Taliban Announces Three-Day Cease-Fire Over Eid Holiday

Afghan security forces killed 10 Taliban militants as a ceasefire was announced by the president, an official said on Friday.

"We welcome the three days ceasefire announced by the Taliban starting on the first day of Eid".

Security officials said they would suspend operations against the Taliban in line with the ceasefire, but would respond if attacked.

Last year, the U.S. pledged to increase its support to struggling Afghan forces, announcing plans for thousands of additional advisers and increasing air raids in a bid to force the Taliban to enter peace negotiations.

On the other hand, similar attacks occurred on Saturday, Jun 9, in a border district with Tajikistan, in which about 20 soldiers of the Afghan security forces were killed.

Pakistan today expressed support for peace efforts in Afghanistan, hours after the Taliban announced its first ceasefire in the war-torn country in almost 17 years.

"We welcome the Taliban response and [are] looking forward to seeing it turned into opportunities for lasting peace in Afghanistan", Shah Hussain Murtazawi, a spokesperson for Afghan President Ghani, told VOA. "They will kill more to make up for their ceasefire days".

"If the mujahideen are attacked we will strongly defend (ourselves)" the statement added. The truce will coincide with Eid, the religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

No one immediately claimed the attack, but the Taliban and an Islamic State affiliate regularly strike government targets in the capital and elsewhere.

The Foreign Office (FO) issued a statement after the Taliban announced temporary ceasefire for days around Eid. "Let us hope peace prevails", he said.

But casualties from suicide bombings and attacks were up 17% a year ago as the Taliban and IS ramp up assaults in urban areas, particularly Kabul.

"A suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest at the entrance gate of the ministry. killing and injuring a number of the employees of the ministry", Stanikzai said.

In the 17 years the war has been going on, this is the first time Afghans have officially experienced an armistice between the Afghan government and Taliban. Taliban commanders said the military council wanted the Afghan nation to celebrate Eidul Fitr without fear, promising that the Taliban would not carry out attacks during the festival.

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