The Taliban on Monday declared a three-day ceasefire in Afghanistan to mark this week’s Eid al-Fitr holiday, just two days after the government accused insurgents of bombing in front of a school which killed more than 50 people, mostly young girls.
“The mujahedin of the Islamic emirate are instructed to end all offensive operations against the enemy throughout the country from the first to the third day of Eid,” said a statement released by the insurgents.
“But if the enemy is leading an assault or an attack on you during these days, stand ready to protect yourself and to defend yourself and to defend your territory,” he added.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and the holidays begin according to the observation of the new moon.
The ceasefire comes after the government blamed the Taliban for the attack on a girls’ school in Dasht-e-Barchi, a suburb of the capital largely populated by the Shiite Hazara community, which is often the target of extremist Sunni Islamist militants.
The Taliban have denied being involved in the attack, the country’s deadliest for more than a year.
Saturday’s explosions came as the United States continues to withdraw its last 2,500 troops from the violence-ravaged country despite hesitant peace efforts between the Taliban and the Afghan government to end a decades-long war.
© 2021 AFP