Afghan President orders resumption of fighting and calls Taliban for peace[/ltr]
[ltr][rtl]Release date: 2018/6/30 12:42[/rtl] • [rtl]143 times read[/rtl][/ltr]
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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced the end of a ceasefire with the Taliban officially on Saturday but called on the movement's fighters to agree to comprehensive peace talks following a three-day truce during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
"The resolution is now up to the Taliban whether they want to continue killing or joining the peace process," Ghani told a news conference in Kabul, during which he reiterated his call for comprehensive peace talks.
Ghani issued an order to government forces to suspend offensive operations for 10 days after the June 15-17 holiday truce and saw unarmed Taliban fighters mingling with soldiers, police and civilians on the streets of Kabul and other cities.
The announcement on Saturday means that Afghan security forces, which have been largely defensive since Eid, can resume their normal operations against the Taliban, as well as gunmen who are urging those not covered by the ceasefire.
The cease-fire during the Eid holiday has raised hopes of ending 40 years of fighting in Afghanistan, but there are few expectations by foreign security and diplomatic officials in Kabul of any imminent breakthrough.
While neighboring countries, international partners and Afghan civil movements have called for peace, the Taliban have already rejected talks and fierce fighting has continued in many parts of Afghanistan since the end of the Eid holiday.
The Taliban said on Saturday they had attacked the Qalqat Dasht area in the northern province of Takhar, which briefly seized it last month.