Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Ghani welcomes Taliban’s ceasefire announcement

27 People Killed, Up to 50 Wounded in 4 Attacks in Afghanistan Amid Ceasefire Afghan forces kill 10 Taliban as ceasefire is announced
Ellis Copeland | 11 June, 2018, 20:11

The move was greeted with optimism from NATO, with General Curtis Scaparrotti, NATO's supreme commander in Europe, giving an upbeat assessment this week of the struggle against the Taliban. "Anyone who has lost someone to this war will welcome it", wrote Mohammad Najeeb.

Its a positive first step towards promoting an Afghan-led & Afghan-owned peace process.

"We welcome the Taliban response and [are] looking forward to seeing it turned into opportunities for lasting peace in Afghanistan", Shah Hussain Murtazawi, a spokesperson for Afghan President Ghani, told VOA.

Daesh is the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group, which has a relatively small but potent presence in Afghanistan.

However, it insisted that attacks on foreign forces should continue. "This is the very first ceasefire I have witnessed since I was born", wrote Karwan, whose profile had only one name.

"We hope that [the Taliban] will be committed to implementing their announcement of the cease-fire, " he said.

For the festival, Taliban fighters "are instructed to stop their offensive operations against domestic opposition", the militant group said in a statement to the New York Times, referring to Afghan forces.

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The Taliban attacked security outposts in the Zawul district of western Herat province on Friday night, killing 17 troops and wounding several, Jelani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor, said.

"Members of the Taliban should not participate in public gatherings during the Eid festivities because the enemy could target us", they said in a statement.

Last month, eight people were killed and 45 were wounded in a bomb attack on Ramadan night-time cricket tournament. The attacks resulted in 21 casualties, six of which are civilians.

"There are about 200, more will be joining soon and they will be here for training and support".

But residents of a number of provinces said they are happy that they will get a few peaceful days during Eid.

This attack, however, was not the last one in the string of incidents Monday.

After many fits and starts with past peace initiatives, some Afghans pleaded for a higher power to resolve the conflict. Speaking at the restricted session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit here, Prime Minister Modi also promised that India will play an active role in the contact group for Afghanistan under the SCO banner.

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