Taliban continues to fight Afghan forces despite govt’s ceasefire

Kabul: Despite Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani’s decision of extending the ceasefire by ten days, the Taliban continues to fight the Afghan government forces.

Afghan Defence Ministry said dozens of security force members have been martyred in Taliban attacks in the past four days in at least 10 provinces.

They did not, however, provided the exact number of casualties.

“We have had casualties during the (past) week, but in the past 24 hours, we imposed casualties on those who acted against the ceasefire,” Tolo News quoted Mohammad Radmanish, the Defence Ministry spokesman as saying.

In the attack of June 15, Taliban stormed a police outpost on the outskirts of Gardez City, the capital of Paktia province, in the northeast of Afghanistan.

Eyewitnesses said at least five policemen were killed in the attack.

“Changes have happened in Taliban attacks. Anti-government armed militants have increased their attacks,” Tolo News quoted Sardar Wali Tabasum, spokesman for Paktia Police Chief as saying.

Clashes also broke out in Farah, the west of the country, resulting in casualties.

According to a military affairs analyst, Jawed Kohistani, the lack of an effective plan by government has resulted in casualties among soldiers.

“This ceasefire does not have any legal, official or specific measures and roadmaps. It does not illustrate in which areas and how the soldiers will observe the ceasefire,” Kohistani said.

Ghani on June 17 announced a 10-day extension on government’s ceasefire and also urged the Taliban to extend their three-day ceasefire. The Taliban, however, has not yet responded and instead continues to carry out attacks across the country.

This came in the backdrop of an initial truce which was observed by both sides over the Eid festival period.

The Taliban on June 9 announced a three-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday, two days after 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.