Taliban Attacks Kill at Least 10 Afghan Soldiers

Leroy Wright
June 11, 2018

The attacks took place ahead of the ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban movement, timed to Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of the month of Ramadan.

The announcement comes two days after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani instructed Afghan forces in a video message to halt operations between Tuesday and June 21.

Taliban fighters "are directed to stop offensive operations against Afghan forces for the first three days of Eid-al-Fitr", the group said in a statement on June 9.

They say foreign forces are excluded from the cease-fire and Taliban operations would continue against them.

Aminullah Ayaddin, a provincial council member, said the attack in the Qala-e Zal district unfolded as the soldiers gathered to eat a predawn meal before fasting.

In another attack, at least six people were killed and three wounded when a roadside bomb planted by Taliban struck a bus in eastern Ghazni province.

"The Taliban confiscated weapons following the attack", Sarwari told AFP. "I also hope other terrorist groups such as Daesh don't disrupt it". The fighting also killed more than 180 Afghan civilians in May. "But if the mujahideen are attacked we will strongly defend [ourselves]".

It was not clear exactly when the ceasefire would begin, as Eid starts when the moon is first sighted, but Afghan calendars mark Friday June 15 as the end of Ramadan.

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The presidential palace welcomed the announcement and said it hoped it can lead to lasting peace.

The Islamic State extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's AMAQ news agency said.

He said there was a report of a single Taliban casualty but the group has not commented.

In the 17 years the war has been going on, this is the first time Afghans have officially experienced an armistice between the Afghan government and Taliban.

An hour after the fatwa was issued, a suicide bomber detonated outside the gathering, killing seven people.

It has also called for a peace process, but it remains uncertain whether American officials will resume discussions it has had intermittently with Taliban representatives since 2010.

Taliban rebels stormed an Afghan National Army (ANA) base in Kandahar's Shah Walikot district, local media quoted a regional military spokesman as confirming.

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