Taliban, Ghani Declare Three-day Ceasefire for Eid Holiday
The Taliban and Afghanistan's president announced late Saturday a three-day cease-fire ahead of a major Islamic holiday that begins Sunday to mark the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramzan.
The Taliban order, which was soon followed by an announcement via Twitter from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announcing the government "extends the offer of peace," comes just days after US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was in Kabul and Doha.
Khalilzad on his trip urged both the Taliban and the Afghan government to reduce violence and move ahead with intra-Afghan negotiations, a key pillar of a US peace deal with the Taliban signed in February to allow American troops to leave Afghanistan. The deal was also touted at the time as Afghanistan's best chance for peace after nearly four decades of war.
The Taliban's cease-fire announcement follows an Eid al-Fitr message from the Taliban leader which said the insurgent group was committed to the peace deal, was not seeking to monopolise power and promised to guarantee the rights of women and men under an Islamic system.
The directive ordered Taliban fighters not to fight but also not to fraternize with Afghan national security forces. The instructions seemed intended to avoid images that circulated during the last cease-fire in 2018, also during Eid celebrations, including Taliban fighters sharing ice cream and laughing with Afghan national security force soldiers.
In instructions issued Saturday, Taliban fighters were told "not to attack the enemy in any place but if there is attack from enemy in any ...
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