Taliban announces ceasefire over Eid holiday for first time

By AP |June 09,2018 - 09:07 PM

Kabul, Afghanistan — The Afghan Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire over the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a first for the group, following an earlier ceasefire announcement by the government.

A statement released Saturday by the Taliban said that they would defend themselves in case of any attack. They say foreign forces are excluded from the ceasefire and Taliban operations would continue against them.

The statement added that the leadership of the Taliban may also consider releasing prisoners of war, if they promise not to return to the battlefield.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced a weeklong cease-fire with the Taliban to coincide with the holiday.

A statement sent from the president’s office on Thursday said the government’s ceasefire will begin on 27 Ramadan, or June 12 on the Western calendar, and last through the Eid al-Fitr holiday, until around June 19, adding the ceasefire does not include al-Qaida or the Islamic State group. The palace statement referred to a gathering of Afghanistan’s top clerics last week in which they issued a decree against suicide attacks and called for peace talks.

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