Countdown for Taliban ceasefire begins

Kabul: The countdown for the Taliban ceasefire has begun, the Afghanistan Ministry of Defence said.

As long as as weapons are left at the gates, Taliban fighters can enter cities, including Kabul, to spend time with friends and family over Eid, Tolo News reported.

The Taliban on June 9 announced a three-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday, two days after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced the ceasefire from the 27th of Ramzan (June 12) to the fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr (June 19).

It is the first time the Taliban has agreed to a ceasefire for Eid since the US invasion in 2001.

Since the announcements were made, government’s ceasefire has been marred by clashes between government forces and militants.

On June 11, three Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were killed and five others wounded in clashes with the Taliban in northern Sar-e-Pul province.

One area that has been hard hit is Faryab district’s Kohistan province where more than 100 government forces are still under siege.

Meanwhile, the United States Army has stressed the need to strengthen the capabilities of Afghan government forces.

The High Peace Council has said that the Afghan government is ready to extend the ceasefire if the Taliban gives a green light. (ANI)