KABUL: Afghan security forces resumed offensive operations on Saturday after President Ashraf Ghani declared an end to the government’s unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban.
Ghani said the ceasefire, which lasted 18 days after it was extended once and overlapped with the Taliban’s unilateral three-day truce for Eid, had been “98 percent successful”. “The ceasefire is over. The Afghan security and defense forces are allowed to restart their military operations,” Ghani told reporters.
The three days of no fighting were unprecedented in the nearly 17-year conflict and triggered jubilant scenes across the war-weary country. Taliban fighters and security forces spontaneously celebrated the holiday that caps the holy month of Ramadan, hugging each other and taking selfies.
Airstrikes kill 12 Taliban militants in Afghanistan: At least 12 Taliban militants were killed and 16 others injured during airstrikes conducted by Afghan air force in the western Badghis province of Afghanistan late Friday, police said Saturday.
“Army helicopters targeted Taliban’s gathering in Jawand district of western Badghis province late Friday night, killing at least 12 insurgents and injuring 16 others,” Naqibullah Amini, spokesperson for Badghis police told Xinhua. During the air raids, 15 motorbikes and some amount of weapons and ammunition of the insurgents were also destroyed, the official said.
Blast kills 3 militants in eastern Afghanistan: Three militants were killed and two others injured as a mine planted by militants went off prematurely in Jalriz district of Afghanistan’s eastern Warkad province on Saturday, said a statement of 203 Tandar Corps. The Taliban militants, according to the statement, were planting a mine on a road in Suliman Khil area of Jalriz district in the wee hours of Saturday to target military vehicles but the device exploded ahead of time killing three militants on the spot and injuring two others. Jalriz has been the scene of bloody fighting between government forces and Taliban militants over the past one week.