Two suicide bombers kill at least 54 amid Afghan-Taliban ceasefire for Eid
According to an eye witness, a suicide bomber detonated the explosives among the security forces and civilians who had gathered near the governor's office. Provincial governor's spokesperson Ataullah Khogyani confirmed the incident.
Saturday's suicide attack, which also took place in Jalalabad, killed at least 36 people and wounded 65. People were celebrating an unprecedented ceasefire between the security forces and the militants. Both the Taliban and the Afghan government had announced a ceasefire to allow their fighters to celebrate Eid.
The Daesh or the so-called ‘Islamic State’ terrorist group claimed responsibility for the blast, according to TRT. The local IS affiliate, which is not included in the cease-fire, has a strong presence in the province.
After the attack, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a nine-day extension of the cease-fire.
The chairman of the High Peace Council, a government body charged with negotiating an end to the nearly 17-year war, has called on the Taliban to accept the extended cease-fire and join the peace process.
The Taliban have steadily expanded their presence in recent years, seizing a number of districts across the country and carrying out near-daily attacks on Afghan security forces.
Afghan forces manning checkpoints offered Eid greetings to the fighters, embracing and posing for photos with the same people they are usually trying to kill - a scene that would have been unthinkable only a few days ago..
They said they would continue attacking US-led NATO troops.
That came after Ghani announced that police and troops would cease operations against the Taliban for eight days, starting last Tuesday - though he warned that operations against other militants, including Daesh, would continue.
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