Afghanistan announces unconditional ceasefire with Taliban ahead of Eid

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced a week-long ceasefire with the Taliban for Eid, the holiday after Ramazan, though operations against other groups including Islamic State will continue.

The surprise decision follows a meeting of Islamic clerics from across the country earlier this week who declared a fatwa on Taliban attacks. The clerics recommended a ceasefire with the Taliban, who want to reimpose strict Islamic law after their ouster in 2001. Ghani endorsed the clerics’ recommendation.

An hour after the fatwa was issued, a suicide bomb was detonated outside the gathering, killing seven people.

“The Fatwa declared that violence and suicide attacks are not only against Islam but also strictly forbidden in our religion. We also welcome the unprecedented fatwa that only the state can declare jihad thereby rendering violent campaign by any group anything but a holy war, ” he further tweeted.



“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.”

Ghani in February had offered recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group in a proposed political process that he said could lead to talks to end more than 16 years of war.

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