Taliban Announce Cease-fire Over Eid Holiday for 1st Time
10 Junio, 2018, 01:57 | Author: Kelly Blake
The Taliban on Saturday announced a surprise three-day ceasefire with the Afghan government for the duration of Eid al-Fitr, the religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. But the Taliban say they will stop fighting for three days.
The Taliban statement said worldwide forces in the USA -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation coalition would still be the target of attacks.
Several hours later, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the truce was intended for the Eid holiday and would not affect the group's larger goals, which include the removal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.
"Members of the Taliban should not participate in public gatherings during the Eid festivities because the enemy could target us", they said in a statement.
"This ceasefire is an opportunity for Taliban to introspect that their violent campaign is not winning them hearts and minds, but further alienating the #Afghan people from their cause", he added on Twitter. He first spoke about the possibility of a cease-fire with the militant Islamic group in February as part of a potential agreement where the government would be willing to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate political party. "We will adhere to the wishes of Afghanistan to enjoy a peaceful end to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and support the search for an end to the conflict", said Gen John Nicholson, commander of worldwide forces in Afghanistan. It is not clear how many Afghan troops the Taliban holds captive.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has welcomed the Afghan government's decision to announce a ceasefire with the Taliban on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr Muslim holidays in the war-stricken country.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has led global security efforts in Afghanistan since 2003.
At least 50 Afghan soldiers and police were killed in clashes across the country - 17 soldiers died in the Zawal district of western Herat province, nine border police were killed in the Bala Murghab district of north-western Badghis province, and at least 20 Afghan police were killed in the Qala e Zal district of northern Kunduz province on Friday. It wound down its combat mission in 2014 but its Resolute Support mission comprises nearly 16,000 troops from around 40 countries.
In the meantime, Taliban insurgents have continued to carry out attacks. He added that eight insurgents were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded in the gun battle in Zewal district.
Amani said that seven other forces were wounded in the attack late Frday night near Sari Pul city.
The Taliban, ousted from power in a US-led invasion in 2001, have not yet confirmed if they will respect the ceasefire, which was called to coincide with Eidul Fitr.
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