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    Taliban Orders Three-Day Eid Ceasefire

    The Taliban on Saturday issued a statement that it has ordered its fighters not to clash with Afghan security forces for the first three days of Eid. 
    The Taliban’s favorable response comes after President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced a ceasefire with the Taliban. 
    In the statement sent to the media early Saturday, the Taliban said its fighters would not launch attacks against Afghan security forces but that they would defend themselves if necessary. 
    On Thursday Ghani said in a video message that he was calling for a ceasefire with the Taliban after religious scholars on Monday issued a fatwa against the ongoing war in the country.
    The Taliban meanwhile stated that its three-day ceasefire did not include foreign troops. The group ordered their fighters to continue attacks on foreign forces. 
    Taliban also ordered their shadow governors to identify prisoners in their custody, who could provide guarantees that they would not be a future threat to the group, to be released. 
    The Taliban also asked their fighters to make arrangements for families of prisoners to visit them over Eid. 
    Meanwhile in Ghani’s video message on Thursday he said: “With the ceasefire announcement, we epitomize the strength of the Afghan government and the will of the people for a peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict.” 
    “This ceasefire is an opportunity for the Taliban to realize that their violent campaign is not winning them hearts and minds but further alienating the Afghan people from their cause,” Ghani said.
    “The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan announces a ceasefire from the 27th of Ramadan until the fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr following the historic ruling (Fatwa) of the Afghan Ulema,” he added.
    On Monday more than 2,000 Afghan religious scholars from around the country issued a fatwa, an Islamic directive, saying “the ongoing war in Afghanistan is forbidden under Islamic law”.
    In addition, major partners of Afghanistan have welcomed the announcement of a unilateral ceasefire by calling it a positive step towards peace.
    US Department, NATO’s Resolute Support Mission and US forces in Afghanistan, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and Russian foreign ministry all together welcomed THE announcement of the ceasefire. 

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