Afghan Taliban Announces Three-Day Ceasefire for Eid Holidays

Afghan Taliban Announces Three-Day Ceasefire for Eid Holidays

Afghan Taliban fighters killed 17 Afghan police officers in an attack on a police base before dawn Saturday, just hours before the militant group called for a three-day ceasefire with Afghan forces over the Eid al-Fitr holiday in mid-June.

The Taliban on Saturday announced its first ceasefire in Afghanistan since the 2001 US invasion, with a three-day halt in hostilities against the country's security forces that was greeted with relief by war-weary Afghans.

On Friday, senior US officials said they will intensify combat against the Islamic State affiliate in the country during the Kabul government's temporary halt to attacks on the Taliban.

The separate Taliban statement ordering a halt on attacks of "internal enemies" over the Eid al-Fitr holiday said operations against "foreign invaders" should continue, with attacks against them "wherever and whenever they are seen".

The European Union ambassador to Kabul Pierre Mayaudon on Sunday said they are hopeful that the ceasefires announced by the Afghan government and Taliban lead to real peace talks.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for carrying out both the attacks, saying it also overran several security posts and seized military equipment, including weapons.

In 2015, the Afghan government and the Taliban held first-ever direct talks in Murree.

Shehbaz vowed that if given a chance, his party would work to ensure peace between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today praised Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani's bold initiatives towards peace and expressed hope that it will be respected by all parties, referring to a ceasefire announced by the Afghan leader for Eid.

All the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said while Pakistan played the role of a facilitator, it was China that acted as mediator between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Elsewhere in Ghazni, at least three local police and 10 Taliban fighters were killed in clashes, Noori said.

A woman in Kabul told AFP that three days was not enough and instead "we should reach for a sustainable peace throughout the country". They also said they would defend themselves against any attack.

"I am positive that Afghan-led peace process will lead to a very successful and peaceful future of the Afghan people, which we have been waiting for for decades". The festival lasts up to three days.

He went on to say that Kabul was ready to recognise the Taliban as a legitimate political group and even showed willingness to amend the country's constitution to accommodate insurgents' demands.

Although no official date of the ceasefire had been announced, local press outlets indicated Tuesday as the first day of the truce.

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