Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Dozens Of Afghan Security Personnel Killed In Taliban Attacks

Dozens Of Afghan Security Personnel Killed In Taliban Attacks

The Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) issued a statement after the Taliban announced temporary ceasefire for days around Eid.

A successful ceasefire between Afghan security forces and the Taliban starting next week could help lay the groundwork for talks to end the almost 17-year war, analysts said Saturday, but warned a peace deal was still a long way off.

The Taliban's cease-fire is expected to run from June 12 to June 14, while the government's will last until around June 20.

Afghan security forces patrol in Farah after recapturing control of the city from Taleban militants in May.

"If the mujahideen are attacked we will strongly defend (ourselves)" the statement added.

The separate Taliban statement ordering a halt on attacks of "internal enemies" over the Eid al-Fitr holiday said operations against "foreign invaders" should continue, with attacks against them "wherever and whenever they are seen".

In northern Kunduz Province, at least 15 members of the Afghan security forces were killed early on June 11 in an attack by Taliban militants on their security post, officials said.

A number of residents of war-torn Kunduz province also said that peace was their greatest wish and they also welcomed the ceasefire announcements.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Injured men receive treatment at a hospital following a suicide attack in the city of Jalalabad east of Kabul Afghanistan Monday

Hopes for direct peace talks are high in Afghanistan after the Taliban agreed to a unilateral cease-fire from the Afghan government.

"We have always stressed that we should solve the problem of Afghanistan through dialogs between Afghans", the group said in its cease-fire announcement.

"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.

But others were more cautious, warning that the Taleban and its brutal arm the Haqqani Network could launch attacks on behalf of the IS, which they are believed to have done previously.

"We shouldn't be happy with just a three-day ceasefire", a woman in Kabul told AFP.

Daesh is the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group, which has a relatively small but potent presence in Afghanistan.

"We have been stopping fighting during the Eid days, but we would not announce it publicly due to security reasons", Mujahid said.

In February Ghani unveiled a plan to open peace talks with the Taleban, including eventually recognising them as a political party. The group also called for its fighters to avoid large gatherings to prevent any civilian deaths in potential airstrikes.

"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.

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