Afghan soldiers, Taliban celebrate unprecedented Eid ceasefire

Afghan soldiers and Taliban militants celebrated an unprecedented ceasefire marking the end of the Ramadan fasting season with Eid greetings, hand shakes and big hugs.

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The Taliban announced a surprise three-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday, except against foreign forces, which overlaps an Afghan government ceasefire which lasts until Wednesday.

Video and pictures on social media showed cheerful soldiers and Taliban hugging one another and exchanging Eid greetings in Logar province, south of Kabul, and Zabul in the south and central Maidan Wardak.

Afghan Deputy Interior Minister Masood Azizi said the ceasefire was being monitored throughout the country.

“Luckily there have been no attacks,” he told Reuters.

Governors in Helmand, Kandahar and Zabul said both sides had adhered to the ceasefire and that there had been no reports of violence in the last 24 hours.

Members of rights groups organized a brief meeting between Afghan forces and Taliban insurgents in Helmand’s capital city. Laskargah, where the Taliban have delivered a series of blows to government forces this year.

Men and women gathered around the soldiers and Taliban fighters and urged them to keep their weapons at their sides before they hugged each other.

AFP

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