Taliban announces first cease-fire with Afghan forces since start of war

Taliban Attacks Afghan Forces in Kunduz 15 Killed

Taliban Attacks Afghan Forces in Kunduz 15 Killed

Two days after the president's ceasefire declaration, the Taliban also announced that their fighters would not attack Afghan security forces during three days of Eid but would not cease fighting against foreign forces.

At least 19 civilians have been injured and 15 security personnel killed in three separate attacks in Afghanistan, the Pajhwok Afghan News agency reported.

The Taliban announced its first ceasefire in Afghanistan since the 2001 United States invasion on June 9, with a three-day halt in hostilities against the country's security forces that was greeted with relief by war-weary Afghans. The militants said foreign forces would be excluded from the ceasefire and that operations against them would continue.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mojahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement to media.

"We will adhere to the wishes of Afghanistan for the country to enjoy a peaceful end to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and support the search for an end to the conflict", Nicholson said.

In 2015, the Afghan government and the Taliban held first-ever direct talks in Murree.

The Helmand Peace March's strength caught both the government and the Taliban off-guard.

It is the first time since the US -led invasion of Afghanistan that toppled the Taliban regime in 2001 that the militants have declared a cease-fire, albeit a limited one.

The Afghan Taliban, including the Haqqani network, has sought refuge in Pakistan for over 16 years and now we have asked Pakistan to cooperate and assist in the peace process, she added.

Qureshi said eight militants were killed and nine wounded in the clashes.

Mayaudon said he was however sorry that the foreign troops were not included in the Taliban's ceasefire move.

The Afghan High Peace Council, the body tasked with facilitating peace talks with Taliban insurgents, expressed optimism about the new developments.

"In three days, maybe the unity of Taliban insurgents will be put to test", a European diplomat told Reuters.

A woman in Kabul told AFP that three days was not enough and instead "we should reach for a sustainable peace throughout the country". Asif Shinwari, head of Education Department for Nangarhar said that gunmen have attacked the education department's building in Jalalabad.

"Taliban's announcement of cease-fire with ANSF during Eid & indication to release some captives is encouraging & important step towards prospects for peace", Omar Zakhilwal, Afghanistan's ambassador to Paksitan, wrote on Twitter on June 9.

The NATO-led mission also said the cease-fire would not include counterterrorism efforts against Islamic State-Khorasan, al-Qaida and other regional and other global terrorist groups.

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