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Taliban erupts over resumption of Afghan offensive operations

AT News

KABUL: After a longtime defensive poster of the Afghan security forces, President Ashraf Ghani has ordered the military to turn into offensive and engage into aggressive operations against the Taliban and other militant groups in Afghanistan. But the Taliban-with whom the US signed a peace deal about two months ago – the Afghan government working on prisoners swap – reacted to this decision, saying that Ghani wants his continuation of administration under umbrella of lasting war.

The militant in a statement accused the Afghan government of making hurdles against the Afghan peace process since the militants signed a peace deal with the US back on February 29th in the Gulf state of Qatar, Doha.

Talking in a video message on Tuesday evening, President Ghani said, “We ask the Taliban to halt bloodshed and killing of Afghans based on foreign orders, and put an end to the war that has been imposed on us and pursue the path of peace.”

He underscored the remarks, following a number of deadly attacks conducted by the militants across the country, in which altogether 67 people were killed and 84 others received injuries. 

On Tuesday morning, three gunmen stormed into a maternity hospital in the west of Kabul city. The attack lasted for five hours and left 24 mothers and newborn babies dead with 16 others wounded.

In the eastern province of Nangarhar, a suicide attack targeted a funeral ceremony of a local police commander, where 24 people died and another 68 wounded.

On an earlier day, the Taliban asserted the responsibility for an attack on the Afghan security forces convey in eastern Laghman province, in which 27 soldiers were killed and nine others disappeared from the site.

But the militants denied their involvement in the attacks carried out on the 100 bed hospital in Kabul and the attack on a funeral ceremony in Khiwa district of Nangarhar. “We strongly condemn the Daesh militants’ attacks that targeted civilians,” the Taliban said in a statement.

The Taliban had earlier denied the humanitarian ceasefire offered by the Afghan government, US, NATO and several international organizations amid pandemic Covid19 outbreak in the holy month of Ramadan, as the country’s almost feeble health system is overwhelming due to insecurity and fragile economy.

To cease reduction in violence and engage in peace negotiations with the Afghan government, the militants insist on release of their 5,000 prisoners agreed between the US diplomats and Taliban Qatar Based Office during the negotiations held with the absence of the Afghan government. In return for the 5,000 prisoners, the Taliban would be releasing 1,000 Afghan security forces held in their custody. Citing the prisoner swap process, the militants accused of the Afghan government of purposely delaying the release of their inmates, which they said is vital step towards fulfilling the peace deal and beginning of intra-Afghan talks.

The Afghan National Security Advisor, Hamdullah Mohib implicated the Taliban in the recent deadly attacks in Afghanistan, saying that the Taliban have paved the ground for other terrorist group’s activity in the country such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Daesh and Haqqani Terrorist Netwrok.

“The Afghan government’s information shows that these groups are part of each, other and they are working together and they have strong ties,” Mohib added.

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