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Taliban announce three-day long ceasefire on Eid-ul-Fitr

Ghani wants ‘permanent and actual’ cease fire, says Taliban have no reason to continue violence

AT News

KABUL: The Taliban on Monday announced a three-day ceasefire for the Eid-ul-Fitir festivities, urging their fighters to stop attacking on government forces. The end of hostility could likely begin on Wednesday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Taliban in a statement said that the group’s leadership considered a three-day Eid cease fire in order that the group again provides a peaceful and secure atmosphere to people during Eid-ul-Fitr so that they may celebrate this joyous occasion with a greater peace of mind.

“All Taliban fighters are instructed to halt all offensive operations against the enemy countrywide from the first till the third day of Eid. But if the enemy conducts any assault or attack against you during these days, stand ready to protect and defend yourselves and your territory,” the statement reads.

“The Taliban fighters must not visit enemy areas nor permit entrance of enemy personnel into Taliban controlled areas,” according to the statement.

President Ghani in reaction to the insurgents’ statement, suggested that an actual and permanent cease fire was needed.

In a statement, the president’s office said that Taliban had no legal reason to justify violence after the foreign soldiers exit Afghanistan.

It accused Taliban of carrying bloody attacks against civilians during the holy month of Ramadan such as the attack on school students in Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood of Kabul, attacks in the provinces of Logar, Helmand, Ghazni, Herat and Baghlan, saying these attacks take place for foreign intelligence goals and the militants only gain people’s hatred.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Dr. Abdullah Abdullah asked for a permanent ceasefire to end the war.

“In our view, the solution to today’s crisis in the country lies in engaging in accelerated talks, and announcing a permanent ceasefire and ending the war,” Abdullah said.

In a series of tweets he mentioned that in the past the government of Afghanistan has declared unilateral ceasefires during Eid and special occasions.

“Temporary ceasefires on such occasions provide short-term opportunities for our people but are not seen as a durable solution for our country,” he added.

He furthered, “The Afghan crisis has no military solution. Our experience in the past four decades shows that a recipe for terror and killing is not only a solution but has actually deepened the crisis.”

“Therefore, miscalculations need to be avoided by groups that think that they can achieve their goals through increased use of terror and killing,” he furthered.

“I take this opportunity once again and call on the Taliban movement to restart talks, agree to a permanent ceasefire, end the war and bloodshed and seek a comprehensive, just and dignified settlement for all sides,” he concluded.

Emphasizing on cessation of war has felt more than ever as Afghanistan gripped with unending and deadly violence.

Afghanistan will go for one day nationwide mourning on for victims of Kabul and Logar bombings.

At least three explosions took place near Sayed-ul-Shuhada High School in the west of Kabul. As many as 85 people, most of them school students, were killed and 147 more wounded.

The incident is yet to be claimed by any group and the Taliban condemned the attack and denied any involvement.

Another thirteen civilians were killed and 34 others were wounded in two separate roadside bomb blasts in northern Parwan and restive southern Zabul provinces. This is the latest in a series of deadly blasts, not long after several blasts rocked Afghanistan in the past three days that hundreds of people were killed and wounded.

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