Taliban Kills Afghan Officials As Government's Ceasefire Kicks In

Wednesday, 13 Jun, 2018

As government's ceasefire with the Taliban comes into effect, Afghanistan's National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) are in a defensive position opposed to being on the offensive.

Javed Bedar, spokesman for Faryab province confirmed the death of a district governor and that the district centre had fallen to Taliban. "We have asked for more reinforcements".

Afghan officials said a suicide bomber on foot struck the Rural Rehabilitation and Development Ministry as employees were leaving work in the capital, killing at least 12 people and wounding over 30 days before the start of a holiday cease-fire with the Taliban.

Employees were gathered at the entrance of the compound waiting for a bus to take them home when the suicide bomber blew himself up among the crowd, said rural ministry spokesman Faridoon Azhand, who was inside the building at the time.

The Taliban claimed the Faryab attack as well as one in Sayad district of neighbouring Sari Pul where provincial governor spokesman Zabiullah Amani said fighting was still underway.

Relatives of the victims mourn at a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul on June 11.

Its ceasefire with the Afghan government is due to run for three days during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr later this week. Pakistan has denied the accusations.

Kabul security officials are speculating some of the recent attacks could be associated with a Taliban affiliate.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced security forces would halt hostilities with the Taliban for a week - though he warned that operations against other groups, including IS, would continue.

Talking to Commander RSM, the COAS said that Pakistan desires that US/ NATO forces must succeed and leave behind a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, the ISPR mentioned.

The Taliban militants have launched a coordinated attack on Moqor district in southeastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan on the first day of the cesaefire announced by the Afghan government.

If it holds, analysts had expressed cautious optimism that the agreements could help build trust between the government and the Taliban and lay the groundwork for peace talks.