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Dozens Of Afghan Security Personnel Killed In Taliban Attacks

Dozens Of Afghan Security Personnel Killed In Taliban Attacks

The Taliban have announced a ceasefire in Afghanistan over the Eid al-Fitr holiday for the first time since 2001.

On Thursday, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani offered a temporary ceasefire with the Taliban for Eid.

The Afghan government hopes that the Taliban will respond positively to the demands of the people and clergy in Afghanistan and focus on putting an end to the war in the country, Shah Hossein Mortazavi said.

The Taliban's cease-fire only applies to attacks on "internal enemies" - not "foreign invaders" - as they would continue attacks "wherever and whenever they are seen", according to their statement Saturday. The militants also say they will defend themselves, if attacked.

President Ghani had ordered security forces to cease operations against the Taliban last week but stressed that the fight against the Islamic State, al-Qaida and other groups in the country would continue.

At least 25 local policemen were killed when militants stormed three checkpoints in the Qala-e Zal district of the northern province of Kunduz on June 9, said Amanaddin Qureshi, the governor of neighboring Imam Sahib district.

The ceasefire, the first offer of its kind, will begin either on Friday or Saturday, as Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, falls on one of these days.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during during a peace and security cooperation conference in Kabul Afghanistan
Taliban agree three-day Eid ceasefire in Afghanistan

All the deaths were claimed by the Taliban. "I hope the bold initiatives towards peace taken by President Ghani will be respected by all parties", Modi said at the summit, also attended by Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain. "We particularly support all Afghan-owned and Afghan-led efforts aimed at bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan", it said.

Some diplomats said it came as a bit of a surprise, showing that at one level the government wanted intensified air strikes, but on another it was offering an olive branch.

In the meantime, Taliban insurgents have continued to carry out attacks against Afghan forces.

"(Operations against ISIS) will continue, in fact will be even intensified during this period of ceasefire", U.S. Army General John Nicholson, commander of USA and worldwide forces in Afghanistan, told reporters.

In February Ghani unveiled a plan to open peace talks with the Taliban, including eventually recognizing them as a political party.

However, the district administrative chief Amanuddin Qureshi confirmed the incident said doznes of Taliban insurgents launched a coordinated attack on security posts in Baghcha and Kalokh areas, leaving at least 25 people dead. A dozen other were wounded in the overnight Taliban attack, but the exact figures are not yet clear, Safiullah Amiri, another provincial member, said.




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