The Taliban ruled out to extend their three-day cease-fire with Afghan security forces and fighting would resume, dashing hopes for the recent peace to continue. The comments by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid come after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced Saturday a government truce with the militants would be extended. He asked the group to reciprocate.
"The ceasefire ends tonight and our operations will begin, inshallah. We have no intention to extend the ceasefire," Mujahid told Agence France-Presse (AFP) in a WhatsApp message.
The first formal, nationwide ceasefire since the 2001 U.S. invasion had been met with jubilation across the country as Afghans, Taliban, security forces and civilians, celebrated Eid, the holiday that caps the fasting month of Ramadan.
Taliban fighters and security forces embraced and took selfies with each other over the first two days of the Muslim holiday.
Civilians also flocked to greet the militants, who had left their posts or areas under their control to celebrate the halt in hostilities, which had fueled hopes among war-weary Afghans that peace was possible.The extraordinary festivities were marred by a suicide attack in the eastern province of Nangarhar on Saturday that was later claimed by the Daesh terrorist group's franchise in Afghanistan. Daesh was not included in the government's ceasefire.The death toll from the blast has risen to 36, with another 65 wounded, Nangarhar health director Najibullah Kamawal told AFP yesterday, after a number of people with critical injuries died overnight.