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Eid al-Adha in Jalalabad An Afghan security official stands guard during Eid-al-Adha prayers in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.  (ANSA)

Afghan truce begins, future talks possible

As Muslims observe the festival of Eid-al-Adha, a three-day ceasefire between Taliban and government forces in Afghanistan gets underway.

By Nathan Morley

As a 72-hour ceasefire commenced in Afghanistan, worshippers attended mosques across the country where they were checked by armed guards before entering.

It is hoped the halt in fighting will last the duration of the Islamic feast of Eid-al-Adha. Earlier, the Taliban denied any involvement behind a car bomb that killed at least 17 people just hours before the ceasefire started.

Hopes for peace talks

President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban have both signalled that peace talks could begin straight after Eid, amid calls to extend the ceasefire.

Under a deal signed by the Taliban and the US earlier this year, talks were slated to start in March, but were delayed amid political infighting in Kabul.

Also on Friday, Ghani ordered the release of 500 Taliban prisoners.

Listen to Nathan Morley's report
31 July 2020, 16:28