Taliban announce three-day ceasefire for Eid al-Fitr

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An Afghan army soldier in Bagram, near Kabul. – Rahmat Gul

The Taliban unilaterally announced a three-day ceasefire on Saturday evening for Eid al-Fitr,
the celebration marking the end of Ramadan which is to begin on Sunday, when they had intensified their offensives against the forces
Afghan women since March.

The insurgent leadership orders its fighters to “take special measures for the security of their compatriots, and not to launch offensive operations against the enemy”, but they can defend themselves if attacked, perhaps we read in a statement from the Taliban sent by one of their spokesmen.

A first from the Taliban

It is the first time that the Taliban has called on itself to lay down arms since an international coalition led by the United States ousted them from power in late 2001. In late April, they rejected a ceasefire offer the president’s fire
Ashraf Ghani on Ramadan, which they called “not rational or convincing”.

The Taliban intensified its attacks on Afghan security forces just after signing an agreement with the United States in Doha in late February to withdraw foreign troops from Afghanistan within 14 months in exchange for security consideration.

Fraternization scenes

They have carried out more than 3,800 attacks since March, killing 420 civilians and injuring 906 others, according to Afghan authorities on Monday. The UN assistance mission in Afghanistan (Manua), in a report released on Tuesday, identified 208 civilians killed in April by rebels, a figure up 25% compared to April 2019. Ashraf Ghani, who multiplies for years, ceasefire requests had brought a three-day cessation of fighting to a halt in June 2018 on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr. The Afghan president announced this Saturday evening that he had accepted the Taliban offer.

Surprising scenes of fraternization between Taliban fighters and members of the Afghan security forces had then occurred, the two camps hugging and taking photos. The Taliban also respected a partial nine-day truce from February 22 to March 2 on the signing of the Doha agreement with the Americans.



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