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Taliban increase attacks on Afghan forces after Eid ceasefire

Taliban increase attacks on Afghan forces after Eid ceasefire

Violence has gone up in war-ravaged Afghanistan after the recent Eid-ul-Fitr ceasefire. Sources in the Afghan government have said that the Taliban carried out an average of 30 attacks on Afghan security forces each day after the Eid ceasefire.

The government has not released information on the casualties suffered in the violence by Taliban.

Afghanistan has remained in the grip of severe violence after the bilateral US-Taliban peace agreement was signed in Doha, Qatar, in February this year. The Afghan government was  not a party to the agreement which proposes withdrawal of US troops from the country and the formation of an intra-Afghan government.

Despite attacks by the Taliban and various other terror groups on not just Afghan forces but civilians and minorities, the Afghan government has been releasing Taliban prisoners in exchange of its soldiers being released from Taliban custody.

In such a scenario, the Taliban decision on May 22 to announce a three-day ceasefire was a welcome surprise. In response, one day later President Ashraf Ghani pledged to release 2,000 more Taliban prisoners and to focus on furthering peace efforts. The government has been pressurizing Taliban to stop the attacks on Afghan forces to create a suitable environment for intra-Afghan talks.

However, despite the peace talks between the government, the Taliban and various Afghan factions, violence continues unabated. In the latest incident, the Taliban launched an attack on security forces' checkpoints in the Hesarak district of Nangarhar province.

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for Nangarhar governor said: "The armed opponents initiated a group attack on the checkpoints that resulted in the martyrdom of three local police personnel and the injury of another."

"There is war in Logar every moment," said Nafisa Hejran, a member of Logar's provincial council.

On May 27, the day after Eid, Afghan forces launched an air strike in the central province of Zabul. In retaliation, the Taliban also launched a series of attacks on parts of Farah, Parwan and Paktia province targeting Afghan forces.

However, experts fear that if violence continues, it could put the intra-Afghan peace process in jeopardy. "If the ceasefire is broken by either side, this will be a serious blow to the peace process," said Mir Haidar Afzali, the head of the Afghan parliament's defence commission.

Some of the most violent attacks before the Eid ceasefire included one in May on the <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-52675705"><strong>maternity ward of a hospital</strong> </a>in Kabul that led to the deaths of at least 24 babies, mothers and nurses.

In a similar gruesome attack in March this year, <a href="https://indianarrative.com/world/27-sikhs-massacred-in-kabul-caa-may-help-them-345.html"><strong>a Sikh gurudwara was attacked</strong> </a>by terrorists killing at least 27 people at prayer.

Earlier than all these attacks, just one month before the US-Taliban deal, the Taliban had driven an ambulance laden with explosives into a <a href="https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/huge-blast-rocks-kabul-locality-with-embassies-and-eu-office-casualties-feared/story-uMTjGfXBEdoYSo3RUTdtCP.html"><strong>Kabul checkpoint, killing 95 people</strong></a>..