Monday 19 November 2018

Ceasefire ends after deadly new attack on Taliban

Rescuers transport an injured man to a hospital after a car bomb in Jalalabad city, Afghanistan Photo: REUTERS/Parwiz
Rescuers transport an injured man to a hospital after a car bomb in Jalalabad city, Afghanistan Photo: REUTERS/Parwiz

Rahim Faiez

A suicide bomber killed at least 19 people in Afghanistan yesterday, the second attack in as many days targeting Taliban fighters, security forces and civilians celebrating a holiday ceasefire.

The Taliban later rejected an extension of the peace.

Najibullah Kamawal, director of the provincial health department, said another 60 people were wounded in the attack, which struck a crowd of people as they left the governor's compound in the city of Jalalabad.

Saturday's attack, which also took place in Jalalabad, killed at least 36 people and wounded 65.

No one has claimed the attacks, but they appeared to be the work of the Isil group, which is not included in the cease-fire and has clashed with the Taliban in the past.

The bomber on Saturday targeted a gathering of Taliban fighters who were celebrating a three-day truce coinciding with the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

After the attack, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a nine-day extension of the cease-fire.

The chairman of the High Peace Council, a government body charged with negotiating an end to the nearly 17-year war, called on the Taliban to accept the extended ceasefire.

But later yesterday the Taliban announced its ceasefire had ended and that it had no intention of extending it.

"The ceasefire was announced by the Taliban for just the three days of the Eid holidays, which have come to an end this Sunday evening," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

"All Mujahidin (Taliban) should continue their operations against foreign invaders and their puppets."

Irish Independent

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