Taliban announce cease-fire over Eid holiday for 1st time

Taliban announce cease-fire over Eid holiday for 1st time

Taliban announce cease-fire over Eid holiday for 1st time

The halt in hostilities at the end of this week comes two days after the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, announced his government's unilateral eight-day ceasefire.

But the Taliban say they will stop fighting for three days. "We wanted them to be confident that we also won't do any operations".

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

Pakistan today expressed support for peace efforts in Afghanistan, hours after the Taliban announced its first ceasefire in the war-torn country in almost 17 years.

Ghani's decision came after a meeting of Islamic clerics declared a fatwa, or ruling, against suicide bombings, one of which, claimed by Islamic State, killed 14 people at the entrance to the clerics' peace tent in Kabul. "If the Taliban accepts the ceasefire deal, Afghans will be able to celebrate their first Id in many years without fear of explosions or killings", Idrees Stanikzai, a political activist and a candidate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, told this writer.

No one immediately claimed the attack in Kot district, but both the Taliban and IS are active in eastern Afghanistan, especially in Nangarhar.

"We're ready to restart talks about peace with Pakistan again and forget bitter experiences of the past and start a new chapter", he said.

Taliban announce cease-fire over Eid holiday for 1st time

In its statement, the Afghan Taliban said it would allow prisoners to visit with families and asked for the group's regional leaders to commute some prisoners' sentences.

Citing the issue of non-existent troops on the payroll, SIGAR warned in 2016 that the United States and Afghanistan are clueless as to how many Afghan forces "actually exist", are available for duty, and whether they are truly capable of defending their own country.

Earlier this week, the US military said it would observe the government cease-fire with the Taliban while continuing its activities against the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, U.S. forces in Afghanistan, who had increased their offensives, especially airstrikes on insurgent targets, have agreed to respect the ceasefire.

In February Ghani unveiled a plan to open peace talks with the Taliban, including eventually recognizing them as a political party.

An Afghan Muslim man reads versus of the Quran in a mosque during Itikaf, the last ten days of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Qureshi further added that at least nine Taliban insurgents were also wounded during the clashes with the security personnel. A dozen other were wounded in the overnight Taliban attack, but the exact figures are not yet clear, Safiullah Amiri, another provincial member, said.

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