KABUL – Taliban fighters killed a district governor in northern Afghanistan and kept up the pressure to seize control over some parts of Faryab province, ignoring the temporary ceasefire announced by the government that came into effect on Tuesday.
Faryab provincial governor’s office said Tuesday the Taliban launched an attack on the center of Kohistan district, in Qala Sadat, at about 10pm on Monday night.
Clashes lasted a few hours and by about 1am on Tuesday morning the district fell to the insurgent group, the TOLOnews reported.
Officials said during the attack Abdul Rahman Panah, the Kohistan district governor, along with eight security force members were killed.
“Taliban militants launched fierce fighting in the wee hours of today on Kohistanat district and unfortunately the district was collapsed and its governor Abdul Rahman Panah was killed in the fire exchange,” provincial government spokesman Jawed Bidar said.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Tahir Rahmani, Faryab provincial council member said that at least 13 soldiers were killed, and 16 others were wounded in the clash.
Sibghatullah Silab, the deputy to Provincial Council of Faryab, confirmed the fall of Kohistanat district.
Taliban have not commented on any news.
Last week Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had announced for the first time an unconditional ceasefire with the Taliban, coinciding with the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan.
In response, the Afghan Taliban announced a surprise three-day ceasefire over the Muslim Eid holiday in the middle of June.
The government’s eight-day ceasefire started on Tuesday and the Taliban’s three-day ceasefire will start on Friday.
Fighting was also underway Tuesday in Sar-e-Pul, a northern province where the insurgents had captured two checkpoints.
At the onset of the ceasefire Pakistan’s army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in Kabul to meet President Ghani.
Afghanistan has blamed Pakistan for giving assistance to the Taliban and other insurgent groups. Pakistan has denied the accusations.
“Pakistan wishes to see a national unity government in Kabul and US/NATO succeeding to bring peace in Afghanistan,” Asif Ghafoor, the official spokesman Pakistan’s Armed Forces tweeted.
Army Chief left for Kabul to meet President Ashraf Ghani on his invitation. Pakistan wishes to see National Unity Government and US / NATO succeeding to bring peace in Afghanistan.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) June 12, 2018
Ghani in February offered recognition to the Taliban as a legitimate political group in a proposed political process that he said could lead to talks to end more than 16 years of war.
The Taliban have rejected the offer.