Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Taliban say ceasefire will not be extended, fighting to resume

Taliban say ceasefire will not be extended, fighting to resume

A suicide attack in restive eastern Afghanistan on Sunday killed at least 18 people in a crowd celebrating the Eid holiday, the second assault in as many days to mar an unprecedented ceasefire.

In his conversation with Mr. Ghani, Mr. Mulk said that Fazlullah's death would be received throughout Pakistan with relief as Pakistanis had borne the brunt of terrorist attacks by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, which Fazlullah headed.

No one has claimed the attacks, but they appeared to be the work of the Islamic State group, which is not included in the cease-fire and has clashed with the Taliban in the past.

Hours after the attack, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani announced an extension of the unilateral cease-fire and offered medical care wounded Taliban fighters.

The government's ceasefire was due to end Tuesday. But over the past two days Taliban fighters could be seen celebrating the truce alongside Afghan troops and other people in a number of locations.

Barnett R Rubin, an Afghanistan at the Center on global cCooperation, said the ceasefire will make it easier for high-level talks to occur as Taliban fighters had strictly obeyed the command of their leaders. A senior council member said the ceasefire could be extended if a date was established for US forces to withdraw from Afghanistan.

The Taliban announced a ceasefire for the first three days of Eid, which started Friday, promising not to attack Afghan security forces for the first time since the 2001 USA invasion. He urged the Taliban to do the same. On behalf of the people and as a peace organization we call you (Taliban) to say yes to the people's demands and extend the ceasefire and prepare for direct talks.

"If their leaders come, sit and talk just like their soldiers we will have peace tomorrow", Said Hasibullah posted on Facebook under a photo purportedly showing a Taliban fighter and Afghan soldier having a cup of tea together.

MPs opposing the opening of relations said Mr Ghani had not consulted politicians and would be left with no recourse if the Taliban rejected his impromptu request to reciprocate extending the ceasefire, as they now have.

The explosion occurred in the eastern province of Nangarhar around 5:15 p.m. local time, according to CNN.

"They are unarmed as they handed over their weapons at the entrances", Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai told Reuters, adding that the weapons would be returned when the fighters leave the city.

'It was the most peaceful Eid.

Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk described the killing of Pakistan Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah in a US drone strike in Afghanistan as a "significant development in the fight against terrorism".

The possibility of a peace deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban comes as ISIL establishes its presence in the country. It is hard to describe the joy, ' said student Qais Liwal.

In northern Kunduz province, Doctor Abdul Majhid said almost 2,000 Taliban were seen celebrating in the city, many of them with family and friends but also several were seen celebrating with Afghan Security Forces. "Look, everyone you see here, we are all Muslims and mujahideen", the man said, referring to Afghans who fought against Soviet forces in the 1980s.

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