Eid truce between Afghan army and Taliban marred by deadly blast

A 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, …read more

Source:: Yahoo News

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