Afghan Taliban announce surprise three-day Eid ceasefire

The Afghan Taliban on Saturday announced a three-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday at the end of This kind of week, their first offer of its kind, following a ceasefire announced by the government on Thursday.

The militants said foreign forces would certainly be excluded through the ceasefire as well as of which operations against them would certainly continue. They also said they would certainly defend themselves against any attack.

“In three days, maybe the unity of Taliban insurgents will be put to test,” a European diplomat told Reuters. “If different factions don’t accept the ceasefire, then attacks will continue.”

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced an unconditional ceasefire with the Taliban on Thursday, until June 20, coinciding with the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, although excluding various other militant groups, such as Islamic State.

Ghani’s decision came after a meeting of Islamic clerics declared a fatwa, or ruling, against suicide bombings, one of which, claimed by Islamic State, killed 14 people at the entrance to the clerics’ peace tent in Kabul.

The clerics also recommended a ceasefire with the Taliban, who are seeking to reimpose strict Islamic law after their ouster in 2001, as well as Ghani endorsed the recommendation, saying of which would certainly last until June 20.

of which was not immediately clear when the Taliban ceasefire would certainly begin, as Eid starts when the moon is usually first sighted on either the 29th or 30th day of Ramadan, as well as the moon appears at different times across the country.

Ghani has urged ceasefires with the Taliban before, although This kind of was the first unconditional offer since he was elected in 2014.

In August, U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled a more hawkish military approach to Afghanistan, including a surge in air strikes, aimed at forcing the Taliban to the negotiating table.

Afghan security forces say the impact has been significant, although the Taliban roam huge swaths of the country as well as, with foreign troop levels of about 15,0, down through 140,000 in 2014, there appears little desire of outright victory.

The Taliban’s surprise announcement comes as Trump as well as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are due to sit down to a summit in Singapore on Tuesday, something few people would certainly have predicted just months ago when threats between the two sides were at their most bellicose.

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