ibusinesslines.com August 21, 2018

Iran supports ceasefire in Afghanistan: FM Spox

11 June 2018, 08:11 | Erica Roy

Afghan forces kill 10 Taliban as ceasefire is announced

27 People Killed, Up to 50 Wounded in 4 Attacks in Afghanistan Amid Ceasefire

Three days back, President Ashraf Ghani said the Afghan government supporting recent Ulema fatwa in Kabul had chose to announce ceasefire with the Taliban from 27 of Ramadan (June 12) until fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr.

The European Union ambassador to Kabul Pierre Mayaudon on Sunday said they are hopeful that the ceasefires announced by the Afghan government and Taliban lead to real peace talks.

The militant group, in a statement to reporters, said it would impose a truce with Afghan troops for three days but would continue attacks on foreign forces.

15 Afghan security personnel were killed in a Taliban attack in Kunduz province of #Afghanistan, reports said.

Aminullah Ayaddin, a provincial council member, said the attack in the Qala-e Zal district unfolded as the soldiers gathered to eat a predawn meal before fasting.

Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has welcomed the announcement of a ceasefire by the Taliban.

"We welcome the Taliban response and [are] looking forward to seeing it turned into opportunities for lasting peace in Afghanistan", Shah Hussain Murtazawi, a spokesperson for Afghan President Ghani, told VOA. "It is much easier than shed blood in the battlefield, kill and spread hatred", Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, Taliban's former ambassador to Pakistan, told VOA.

It would last "from the 27th of Ramadhan until the fifth day of Eid-al-Fitr", Ghani tweeted from an official account, indicating it could run from June 12-19.

"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 10 included five Pakistanis killed in Thursday's clash in the eastern province of Nangarhar, the official said. Al-Qaeda is no longer active in Afghanistan and some of its fighters are believed to be operating under the Taliban leadership. But it added that "if the mujahideen are attacked we will strongly defend (ourselves)".

But by the intractably violent standards of Afghanistan, the Taliban's first cease-fire pledge was cause for hope, and the timing seemed to present an opening for talks to prolong the break in hostilities.

President Donald Trump's administration has increased the number of US troops in Afghanistan in an effort to give local forces, which continue to struggle despite more than a decade and a half of outside support, a battlefield advantage.

The United States had said its forces and coalition partners will honor the cease-fire.

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