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Afghan forces have been involved in ongoing fighting against the Taliban. Afghan forces have been involved in ongoing fighting against the Taliban.  (AFP or licensors)

Afghanistan: Taliban announce three-day ceasefire for Muslim holiday

Afghanistan’s Taliban have announced a three-day truce that coincides with Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of the month of Ramadan.

By Vatican News staff writer

Taliban insurgents announced Monday that they would observe a three-day ceasefire in Afghanistan for the Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan this week. The move has reportedly been welcomed by the Afghan government.

The ceasefire is scheduled to start on Wednesday or Thursday this week, depending on the sighting of the moon that determines the start of the holiday.

Observant Muslims fast throughout the month of Ramadan, which this year began on April 12. 

Temporary truce amid escalating violence

The latest announcement comes amid heightened violence in the country, and follows bombings outside a school in Kabul on Saturday that killed at least 60 people, most of them female students, and injured more than 165 others.

In a post on Twitter, a Taliban spokesperson, Dr. Mohammed Naeem wrote, “In order that the Mujahideen again provide a peaceful and secure atmosphere to our compatriots during Eid-ul-Fitr so that they may celebrate this joyous occasion a greater peace of mind, all Mujahideen ... are instructed to halt all offensive operations…from the first till the third day of Eid.”

However, just hours after the ceasefire announcement, a roadside bombing in the southern province of Zabul on Monday killed 11 people and wounded dozens, including women and children, in another instance of the increasing violence in the country.

It is still unclear who was responsible for the attack as no group has claimed immediate responsibility.

Meanwhile, Kabul, the Afghani capital, has been on high alert since the US announced plans last month to pull out its remaining troops from the country. The final 2500 – 3500 US soldiers and roughly 7,000 allied NATO forces are scheduled to leave by 11 September.

 

 

11 May 2021, 10:57