Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Ramadaan truce sees Taliban militants pose for selfies in Kabul

Ramadaan truce sees Taliban militants pose for selfies in Kabul

A spokesman for the provincial governor of Nangarhar confirmed a vehicle bomb was responsible for Saturday's attack in the town of Ghazi Aminullah Khan.

Their refusal to extend the three day hold on fighting comes as Taliban fighters were seen hugging and taking selfies with Afghan security forces and civilians as they all celebrated Eid.

The devastating explosion came as previously unthinkable scenes of unarmed Taliban fighters celebrating Eid, often alongside Afghan security forces, played out in cities throughout the war-shattered country on Friday and again on Saturday.

Dozens of Taliban members entered the Afghan capital on Saturday.

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

Taliban members wearing their traditional headgear entered the city of Kabul through gates in the south and southeast, leaving their weapons behind at the entrance.

The group earlier announced they would suspend hostilities with the government forces for three days to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid.

Taliban fighters and security forces embraced and took selfies with each other over the first two days of the Eid holiday.

The comments by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid come after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced on Saturday a government truce with the militants would be extended.

European Union's High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini also said in a statement that the "historic ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban during Eid al-Fitr has given the Afghan people a much-needed respite from 17 years of conflict".

Indonesian woman swallowed whole by 23-foot python
A young farmer was swallowed by an enormous killer snake in March previous year after harvesting a rubber plantation. Her head was towards the snake's tail with her feet close to it's mouth, showing she had been swallowed head first.

A senior member of the Taliban's shura or council said the group would meet on Sunday to discuss Ghani's offer and that the ceasefire could be extended if a date was set for the withdrawal of United States forces.

The Associated Press spoke to Abdullah Faizani, a Taliban fighter from Logar's Baraki district, who said it has been seven years since he has been to the provincial capital.

But some Taliban commanders also told AFP they disapproved of their fighters visiting government-controlled areas and celebrating with police and troops. One said that they were not against anyone today and were there for peace.

The Taliban had "exploited" the opportunity to show their popularity among ordinary Afghans, a Western diplomat in Kabul told AFP.

Most of the dead and wounded were believed to be Taliban.

The Taliban are fighting USA -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces, combined under the Resolute Support mission, and the US -backed government to restore sharia, or Islamic law, after their ouster by USA -led forces in 2001.

Mr Pompeo added: "The United States is prepared to support, facilitate, and participate in these discussions". But they have refused to meet with the United States-backed government, saying they will only negotiate with the U.S. directly.

The JuD chief also delivered a sermon on the occasion and asked Pakistani citizens to extend their full support to the people of Kashmir.

He added that 46 Taliban prisoners had been released and the Taliban would now be able to receive assistance and benefits like other Afghan civilians.

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