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Afghan leaders pay tribute to Ayaz Niazi; Kabul urges Taliban to ceasefire for ‘sake of talks’

AT News

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani pleaded on Wednesday with the insurgents to observe another ceasefire to set the motion for the direct talks with the government.

Ghani’s call on the Taliban to cease hostilities was made at the funeral ceremony of Mawlawi Ayaz Niazi, the Imam of Wazir Akbar Khan mosque, who was killed in a terrorist bombing inside the mosque on Tuesday night before prayers.

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the National Reconciliation Council, who attended the funeral paid tribute to the slain cleric and extoled his manners and ideals.

President Ghani encouraged religious scholars to mobilize support for the peace process in a bid to help the government in its peace quest.

Taliban has rejected responsibility for the attack.

Afghanistan saw a three day lull in violence during Eidul Fitr last week, after which the intensity and scope of insurgent attacks have deceased considerably. Authorities confirmed Tuesday that an average six attacks took place across Afghanistan, compared to almost 100 attacks before Eid days.

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