Afghan Taliban announce surprise three-day Eid ceasefire

Leroy Wright
June 10, 2018

The attacks came as the Taliban announced a three-day cease-fire over the Eid-al-Fitr holiday, their first offer of its kind, following an earlier unliteral cessation of hostilities announced by the government. "All of the Mujahideen are instructed to halt offensives against local opponents during the first, second and third days of Eid..., but if the Mujahideen are attacked, then they defend from themselves".

The Afghan Taliban announced a three-day cease-fire with Afghan forces over Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, after the government called for a holiday cease-fire.

The reciprocal truces appeared to be the most promising movement so far in more than a decade of disappointed peace efforts to end a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of Afghans and more than 450 British troops.

Family visits should also be arranged for remaining prisoners, it said.

"Our operations will continue against them, we will attack them wherever we see them", it said. However, it insisted that attacks on foreign forces should continue.

The deputy spokesman for the Afghan president welcomed the Taliban's agreement to the government ceasefire proposal for Eid al-Fitr, expressing hope that the decision can lead to lasting peace.

Last month, the Pentagon said that senior Taliban officials have been secretly negotiating with Afghan officials on a possible ceasefire.

US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis added that forces that would otherwise be fighting the Taliban could be re-directed to take on terror groups.

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The 10 included five Pakistanis killed in the clash in the eastern province of Nangarhar, the official said, adding, "We finished the operation and will now follow the ceasefire plan".

This comes as the local officials in Herat province said at least 17 soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces lost their lives in a similar attack in Zawal district late on Friday night.

Laurel Miller, who served as a senior US official for Afghanistan and Pakistan under both Obama and Trump, said that while any action to reduce violence was positive, the differing terms and timelines for the two parties' cease-fires made the current circumstance a fragile one.

There was no immediate response to the Taliban's statement from the USA military, which has a dual mission to support Afghan troops against the Taliban and, separately, conduct counterterrorism operations against extremists associated with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

Khogyani said that four of 16 wounded are children and three of them are in critical condition.

Provincial police spokesman Enhamuddin Rahmani confirmed the death toll and said eight Taliban fighters were also killed. "Insurgents have set fire to two military Humvees as well as the checkpoint", he said.

But Nicholson said his troops would not hesitate to respond if the Taliban broke the ceasefire.

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