May 10, 2021 – 23:59
A Taliban spokesman announced a nationwide ceasefire in Afghanistan that will take effect when the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, begins on Thursday.
The announcement follows an increase in the number of attacks by the Islamic insurgent group against government forces in many Afghan provinces.
The announcement of the ceasefire came a day after several blasts outside a girls’ school in Kabul killed more than 60 people, mostly students.
The Taliban said on Sunday that their leaders had instructed insurgent fighters to “stop all offensive operations against the enemy” across the country to allow Afghans to celebrate in a “peaceful and secure atmosphere”.
However, they have been instructed to break the ceasefire only in self-defense and not to visit enemy areas or to wait for Afghan security forces during the three-day Eid celebrations.
The Taliban have previously declared ceasefire for Eid but resumed fighting shortly after the holiday.
The Afghan Interior Ministry said Monday that shortly before the announcement of the Taliban ceasefire at least 11 people were killed when a bomb blast hit a bus in the southern province of Zabul./express