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Friday, September 24, 2021

Taliban declares three-day Eid ceasefire following deadly attacks

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Afghanistan witnessed its deadliest attack in a year on Saturday.

A three-day ceasefire in Afghanistan was announced by the Taliban to mark Eid al-Fitr this week, days after deadly attacks killed dozens in the capital Kabul.

“In order that the Mujahideen again provide a peaceful and secure atmosphere to our compatriots during Eid-ul-Fitr…all Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate are instructed to halt all offensive operations against the enemy countrywide from the first till the third day of Eid,” Mohammad Naeem, a Taliban spokesman, said on Twitter.

Naeem also warned of a response to assaults or attacks by “the enemy”.

“The Mujahideen must not visit enemy areas nor permit entrance of enemy personnel into Mujahideen controlled areas,” he added.

Fraidoon Khwazoon, a spokesman for Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation said the group welcomed the ceasefire announcement, which came a day after a roadside bus bombing killed at least 11 people and injured 28 people, including women and children in Zabul province.

According to Reuters, no group claimed responsibility of the attack and the Taliban did not provide an immediate response for comments.

Read also: Afghanistan’s deadliest attack in a year kills over 50 outside a school

On Saturday, bombings outside a school in Kabul killed up to 85 people and injured more than 165 others, most of whom who school students.

The blasts were said to be caused by a car bomb and two improvised explosive devices planted in the majority Shia Hazara populated community in the Dasht-e-Barchi area, according to a spokesperson from Afghanistan’s ministry of interior.

No group claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack and the Taliban denied involvement in the bombings. However, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani pointing the blame at the insurgent group.

The deadly assaults come amid a surge in violence since US President Joe Biden’s announcement to pull out all 2,500 American troops, as well as other NATO forces, by September 11th, instead of the initial May 1st deadline that was stipulated in a February agreement signed with the Taliban in Doha last year.

This prompted a warning from the Taliban that the US military had violated the 2020 accord by not finishing the troop withdrawal by May 1.

Meanwhile, talks are ongoing to bring together Afghanistan’s warring factions, though little progress has been made so far.


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