Eid-el-Fitr: Afghan Taliban announce Three-Day ceasefire

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The Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire during the Eid al-Fitr holiday starting Sunday in a surprise move following months of bloody fighting with Afghan forces after the group signed a landmark agreement with the US.

President Ashraf Ghani swiftly welcomed the insurgents’ offer and ordered his forces to also comply.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement posted on social media that the group’s “leadership instructs all the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate to take special measures for security of the countrymen, and conduct no offensive operation against the enemy anywhere.”

The statement, which announced a halt to hostilities “during the three days of Eid,” instructed Taliban fighters to refrain from entering government areas and also said that Kabul forces were not allowed to enter territories under their control.

Since the US invasion in 2001 there has only been one other pause in the fighting — a surprise three-day ceasefire between the Taliban and Kabul marking the religious festival of Eid in 2018.

That ceasefire call was given by President Ashraf Ghani, which the insurgents had accepted.

During the brief lull in fighting at that time, Afghans responded joyfully, with Taliban fighters, security forces and civilians hugging, sharing ice creams and posing for selfies in previously unimaginable scenes.

Ghani was quick to accept the Taliban ceasefire offer.

“I welcome the ceasefire announcement by the Taliban,” he said on Twitter.

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