Kabul: On Thursday, hours before the three-day ceasefire began on the Muslim holiday celebrating Eid al-Fitr in eastern Afghanistan, at least 18 people, including Afghan security forces, were killed in eastern Afghanistan. The official said.
When the Taliban declared a ceasefire, violence in this war-torn country escalated, and peace talks between armed groups and a committee authorized by the Afghan government by the United States were waiting for the two sides to complete the prisoner exchange.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement denying responsibility for the bombing. Provincial police spokesman Shahpoor Ahmadzai said that the Afghan security forces in Pule Alam, the capital of the eastern Logar province, were attacked by an explosion and civilians were also injured or killed.
He added that it is not yet clear whether this is a car explosion or a suicide bombing, but security forces have gathered in the city on duty to prepare security measures for Eid al-Fitr, which will be celebrated in Afghanistan on Friday. The head of the provincial assembly, Hasib Stanekkzai, told Reuters that this was a car bomb attack that killed 18 people and injured 22 others.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that since the US Taliban agreement was reached in February, 3,560 Afghan security forces have been killed in attacks by militants. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a report this week that more than 1,280 Afghan civilians were killed in the first six months of this year, mainly due to fighting between the Afghan government forces and the Taliban.
The U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, discussed in Kabul on Wednesday the need for the parties to reduce violence after the ceasefire and the completion of the prisoner exchange.