Tag Archives: Afghan

Afghan forces resume offensive operations after govt ceasefire ends

Afghan forces resume offensive operations after govt ceasefire endsAfghan security forces resumed offensive operations on Saturday after President Ashraf Ghani declared an end to the government’s unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban. Ghani said the ceasefire, which lasted 18 days after it was extended once and overlapped with the Taliban’s unilateral three-day truce for Eid, had been “98 percent successful”. The Afghan security and defence forces are allowed to restart their military operations,” Ghani told reporters.



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Eid ceasefire proved 'wide support' for Afghan Taliban, they say

Eid ceasefire proved 'wide support' for Afghan Taliban, they sayBy Rupam Jain and Qadir Sediqi KABUL (Reuters) – The Afghan Taliban said their three-day Eid ceasefire, which ends on Sunday, proved the unity of their movement and its “wide national support” as the presidential palace extended its own ceasefire with the militants by 10 days. Taliban fighters headed into cities across Afghanistan over the weekend as they celebrated their Eid cessation of hostilities with feasts, hugs and selfies, raising questions about what happens when their ceasefire ends at midnight (1930 GMT) on Sunday. “The announcement (of the ceasefire), implementation and the wide national support and welcome of the Mujahideen by the people proves that the demands of the Islamic Emirate and the nation are identical – all want the withdrawal of foreign invaders and establishment of an Islamic government,” they said.



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Afghan Taliban tells fighters to stay at posts after attack on ceasefire revellers

Afghan Taliban tells fighters to stay at posts after attack on ceasefire revellersThe Taliban on Sunday ordered its fighters in Afghanistan to avoid gatherings of security forces and civilians, a day after a suicide bomber killed 25 people including members of the militant group celebrating an unprecedented ceasefire. It was the first formal nationwide ceasefire since the 2001 US invasion and the display of jubilation and unity has fuelled hopes among war-weary Afghans that peace is possible. The attack on a crowd celebrating the truce in Rodat district also wounded 54 people and was blamed by officials on the Islamic State group.



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Eid truce between Afghan army and Taliban marred by deadly blast

Eid truce between Afghan army and Taliban marred by deadly blastA blast at a ceasefire meeting of Taliban fighters in the country's east has killed up to 20 even as the war-weary country celebrated an unprecedented holiday truce in the long-running conflict. The explosion hit a meeting in Nangarhar province as fighters met to mark the Taliban's three-day ceasefire to mark the religious festival of Eid al-Fitr. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion. At least one hardline Taliban splinter faction had previously said it would not abide by the truce, while the area is also known as a stronghold of the Islamic State group. Ghulam Sanayee Stanikzai, provincial police chief, said the attack in Rodat district came as dozens of fighters had gathered to celebrate the truce and most of the dead were Taliban. The blast came at the end of a day which had seen widespread jubilation and scenes of Taliban and Afghan military adversaries greeting each other with hugs and selfies in a large number of Afghan towns. People celebrate ceasefire in Rodat district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan Credit: REUTERS/Parwiz President Ashraf Ghani, who first announced a week-long break in hostilities as a peace overture, on Saturday said he would extend his own truce and called on the Taliban to follow. The unexpected scenes even saw dozens of unarmed militants enter the Afghan capital. Insurgent fighters  entered Kabul through gates in the south and southeast and traffic jams formed where people stopped to take pictures of the fighters with their flags. The Taliban urged people to come forward and take photos with them. Taliban members celebrate ceasefire in Ghanikhel district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan Credit: REUTERS/Parwiz "They are unarmed as they handed over their weapons at the entrances," Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai told Reuters. Their weapons would be returned when they leave, he said. In provincial and district capitals, Taliban militants rode motorbikes into towns normally under siege from the insurgent violence and the fighters exchanged greetings with police and soldiers. Taliban fighters and Afghan security forces hugged and took selfies with each other  Credit: NOORULLAH SHIRZADA/AFP/Getty Images Mohammad Amir, a resident of Kunduz which in 2015 was briefly overrun by insurgents, said "I could not believe my eyes. I saw Taliban and police standing side by side and taking selfies." The surprise truce follows years of fruitless peace overtures and thwarted diplomacy to end a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of Afghans and more than 450 British troops. "I am here to offer greetings to our brothers in the police and army," one Taliban commander called Baba told AFP in eastern Nangahar. "We have held the ceasefire well so far. Everyone is tired of war and if our leaders order us to continue the ceasefire, we will hold it forever," he added. Other fighters said peace could only be found when international troops led by America had left the country.



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Taliban, Afghan officials in ceasefire talks: US general

Taliban, Afghan officials in ceasefire talks: US generalSenior Taliban officials have been secretly negotiating with Afghan officials on a possible ceasefire, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan disclosed Wednesday. “A lot of the diplomatic activity and dialogue is occurring off the stage, and it’s occurring at multiple levels,” General John Nicholson said in a teleconference with reporters at the Pentagon. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in late February proposed peace talks with the Taliban, saying they could be recognized as a political party if they accepted a ceasefire and recognized the country’s 2004 constitution.



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Fifty Afghan Taliban leaders killed in rocket strike, U.S. military says

Fifty Afghan Taliban leaders killed in rocket strike, U.S. military saysMore than 50 senior Taliban commanders were killed in an artillery strike on a meeting in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand, a U.S. military spokesman said on Wednesday, as fighting continued across the country. Details of last week’s operation emerged as fighting continued in other parts of Afghanistan, where the Taliban, aiming to restore their version of hardline Islamic law, launched their annual spring offensive last month. There were also serious incidents in Takhar province in the north, in Loghar, east of the capital, and Kandahar in the south, keeping up a pattern of attacks across the country.



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Taliban, Afghan officials in ceasefire talks: US general

Taliban, Afghan officials in ceasefire talks: US generalSenior Taliban officials have been secretly negotiating with Afghan officials on a possible ceasefire, the Pentagon said Wednesday, even as US forces killed over 50 Taliban leaders in a series of strikes. “A lot of the diplomatic activity and dialogue is occurring off the stage, and it’s occurring at multiple levels,” General John Nicholson said in a teleconference with reporters at the Pentagon. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in late February proposed peace talks with the Taliban, saying they could be recognized as a political party if they accepted a ceasefire and recognized the country’s 2004 constitution.



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Trump awards Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL in Afghan assault

Trump awards Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL in Afghan assaultWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday inducted a new member into "the world's most exclusive club of heroes" by awarding a Medal of Honor to a Navy SEAL who led a daring assault and rescue mission on a snowy Afghanistan mountaintop in 2002.



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Afghan government under pressure as Taliban threaten new district

Afghan government under pressure as Taliban threaten new districtTaliban fighters closed in on another district in Afghanistan on Sunday as officials sought to reassure an increasingly angry public that security would improve. On Sunday, the insurgents were besieging the governor’s compound in Ajrestan district in Ghazni, south of the capital Kabul, although officials said reinforcements had arrived and were relieving police defending the town. The fighting in Ghazni, which has long had a heavy Taliban presence, follows several days of fighting in Farah province, on the other side of Afghanistan on the border with Iran where the insurgents came close to overrunning the provincial capital.



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Afghan, Pakistani leaders meet after air strike allegation

Afghan, Pakistani leaders meet after air strike allegationBy Rod Nickel KABUL (Reuters) – The leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan promised to work together on regional security in a face-to-face meeting on Friday, one day after Kabul accused the Pakistani military of carrying out a rare air strike on its side of the border. Afghanistan on Thursday accused Pakistan of strikes causing “huge financial damages” in a province bordering Pakistan. Pakistan responded that its security forces were countering Afghan-based militant groups on its own side of the border.



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