Taliban announce brief ceasefire, offering Afghans hope for lull in war

Taliban announce brief ceasefire, offering Afghans hope for lull in war

The Taliban announced in a statement on Saturday that it had agreed to a three-day ceasefire with Afghan security forces for Eid al-Fitr in the middle of June, following a truce deal already proposed by President Ashraf Ghani.

The Afghan government says the ceasefire will last for a week and will exclude Daesh and other terror groups.

On Friday, senior USA officials said they will intensify combat against Daesh affiliate in the country during the Kabul government's temporary halt to attacks on the Taliban. "We wanted them to be confident that we also won't do any operations". In the Zawol district of western Herat province, the governor's spokesman said 18 members of the Afghan army and police were killed in an overnight ambush Friday.

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.

The move came days after a gathering of Afghanistan's top clerics in Kabul called for a ceasefire and issued a fatwa against suicide bombings and attacks.

Ghani first spoke about the possibility of a ceasefire with the militant Islamist group in February, when he announced that the Afghan government was willing to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate political party as part of a potential agreement.

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

"In three days, maybe the unity of Taliban insurgents will be put to test", a European diplomat told Reuters.

UK Supreme Court criticizes Northern Ireland abortion laws
As a result, the justices said the Supreme Court "has no jurisdiction " in the proceedings to strike down the law. Human rights campaigners have lost a Supreme Court appeal over the legality of Northern Ireland's abortion law .

Over the past few years, as the US has drawn down from the peak of about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, it has increasingly embraced a political settlement as the only end to the long Afghan war.

The Taliban's statement added that the leadership of the Taliban may also consider releasing prisoners of war, if they promise not to return to the battlefield.

"(Operations against ISIS) will continue, in fact will be even intensified during this period of ceasefire", U.S. Army General John Nicholson, commander of United States and global forces in Afghanistan, told reporters.

Ghani on Thursday, June 7, 2018 announced a weeklong cease-fire with the Taliban to coincide with the holiday.

Farhad said one soldier was wounded.

Five police officers were injured in the attack on the base in the Qalai Zal district of Kunduz province, the spokesman for Kunduz chief of police, Enhamuddin Rahmani, said.

In late February, Ghani also offered the Taliban a chance to be recognized as a legitimate political party and withdraw their names from global sanctions lists in exchange for peace. He added that eight Taliban attackers were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded during the gun battle.

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