Tag Archives: Taliban

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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Afghanistan announces extension of govt ceasefire with Taliban

Afghanistan announces extension of govt ceasefire with TalibanAfghan President Ashraf Ghani announced Saturday an extension of the government’s week-long ceasefire with the Taliban, as both sides observed a halt in hostilities for Eid. In a rare televised address to the nation, Ghani also asked the Taliban to extend their three-day ceasefire which is due to end Sunday. “I order the security forces to remain on their defensive positions,” Ghani said, adding details of the extension would be released later.



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Pakistan: Killing of Pakistan Taliban chief 'significant'

Pakistan: Killing of Pakistan Taliban chief 'significant'KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk described the killing of Pakistan Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan as a "significant development in the fight against terrorism."



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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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US drone kills Taliban chief wanted in Malala attack: Ghani

US drone kills Taliban chief wanted in Malala attack: GhaniAfghan President Ashraf Ghani confirmed Friday that Pakistani Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah had been killed in a US drone strike. Fazlullah is believed to have ordered the failed 2012 assassination of Malala Yousafzai, who became a global symbol of the fight for girls’ rights to schooling, and who later won the Nobel Peace Prize. US forces targeted Fazlullah in a counterterrorism strike on Thursday in eastern Kunar province, close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, US officials said, without confirming his death.



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Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani Praises Taliban Ceasefire in Eid Holiday Address

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani Praises Taliban Ceasefire in Eid Holiday AddressAfghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Friday touted a three-day cease-fire with the Taliban in an address to the nation heralding the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr.



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Taliban chief who ordered Malala assassination 'killed in airstrike'

Taliban chief who ordered Malala assassination 'killed in airstrike'The head of the Pakistan Taliban has been targeted and is believed killed in a United States drone strike in eastern Afghanistan. Afghan officials said Mullah Fazlullah, who is one of the world's most wanted militant leaders, had been killed in Kunar province. As well as terrorist outrages, he also spearheaded a campaign against a government polio vaccination programme, claiming it was a "conspiracy of Jews and Christians to make Muslims impotent and stunt the growth of Muslims”. News of the attack came as Afghanistan waited to see if a unprecedented three-day Afghan Taliban ceasefire would hold over the Eid holiday period. Photos shared on social media in the country appeared to show fighters and Afghan forces celebrating the truce together. Mullah Fazlullah became notorious for ordering a string of attacks including the 2014 massacre of scores of pupils at an army school in Peshawar and the failed assassination of schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai. His group has also been linked to terrorist plots inside America. Afghanistan's defence ministry said Fazlullah had been “killed in a joint Afghan and US operation”, while a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan would only say the US had struck “a senior leader of a designated terrorist organisation”. The militant leader has wrongly been claimed dead before and a Pakistan security source said his death was as yet “not possible to verify”. A member of the Taliban told Reuters the group was trying to get word if its leader was dead. Malala Yousafzai is now a student at Oxford Credit: AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images He said: "We have been hearing since early Friday that our Emir was martyred along with four other militant commanders in Marawar area of Kunar. They were staying at a house when the drone fired missiles and martyred them.” Fazlullah, believed to be aged in his mid-forties, has led the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) since 2013 and had a $ 5m American reward for information on his head. The TTP in December 2014, carried out the deadliest terrorist attack in Pakistan's history when militants killed 151 people including more than 130 children, during an attack against the Army Public School in Peshawar. He first rose to prominence inside Pakistan's Swat valley with fiery radio tirades that earned him the nickname Mullah Radio. His broadcasts opposed America, female education and vaccination programmes while advocating a strict form of Islamic law. While in Swat When Ms Yousafzai publicly challenged the Taliban's stance in Swat, Fazlullah ordered the 14-year-old be killed, though she survived and went on to be awarded the Nobel peace prize. The US State Department says the TTP has "demonstrated a close alliance with Al-Qaeda" and had given explosives training to Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber. Well, this hasn't been witnessed since the beginning of war in Afghanistan. Taliban fighters & Afghan forces had a chance to chit chat & attend Eid prayers together during the temporary three day ceasefire. Photos from Maidan Shahr pic.twitter.com/jJi4xz6gFe— Ahmad Yar (@Pashtunist) June 15, 2018 Meanwhile the Nato-led coalition in Afghanistan said the Taliban ceasefire appeared to be holding on Friday. Afghans used social media to share photographs purporting to show Taliban fighters and members of the Afghan force celebrating the truce together.   



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Pakistani Taliban leader killed in air strike in Afghanistan near border

Pakistani Taliban leader killed in air strike in Afghanistan near borderBy Rupam Jain and Jibran Ahmad KABUL/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah has been killed in a U.S.-Afghan air strike in Afghanistan, a senior Afghan Defence Ministry official said on Friday, a killing likely to ease tension between the United States and Pakistan. An official at the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan confirmed Fazlullah was killed on Thursday. The U.S. military said earlier in Washington it had carried out a strike aimed at a senior militant figure in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar, which is on the Pakistani border, and one U.S. official said the target was believed to have been Fazlullah.



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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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