Afghan president announces ceasefire with Taliban for Eidul Fitr

01:32 PM | 7 Jun, 2018
Afghan president announces ceasefire with Taliban for Eidul Fitr
KABUL - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has told security forces to cease operations against Taliban until June 20, after fasting season ends.

“The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan announces ceasefire from the 27th of Ramadan until the fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr following the historic ruling [Fatwa] of the Afghan Ulema,” Ghani said.

“This ceasefire is an opportunity for Taliban to introspect that their violent campaign is not wining them hearts and minds but further alienating the Afghan people from their cause.”

However, operations against ISIS and other militant groups will continue.

Earlier this week, the Afghan Ulema Council decreed that suicide attacks are strictly against Islam and only the state can declare ‘jihad.’

ISKP claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing outside the Afghan Ulema Council shortly after the fatwa was issued on June 4.

The Taliban last month called on Kabul residents to stay away from military and intelligence centers in the capital, saying they planned more assaults as part of their annual spring offensive, ‘al-Khandaq.’

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Both the Taliban and ISKP have recently stepped up attacks on the capital, which accounted for 16 percent of all civilian casualties last year, when 1,831 civilians were killed or wounded nationwide, according to the United Nations.

It was unclear on Thursday whether the Taliban would also stop attacks during the ceasefire. In the announcement of its spring offensive on May 1, the Taliban called Ghani’s peace offer a conspiracy and has carried out dozens of attacks on security forces this spring.