"146 civilians were killed and 430 others were wounded"in attacks "initiated by the Taliban" during the holy month of Ramadan," the Office of National Security Council (ONSC) said on Friday amid a surge in violence in several areas across the country.
“The Taliban showed zero respect for civilians and the agreement was to reduce violence, and they have continued their deadly campaign against the Afghan people in the last week of the holy month of Ramadan. They killed 25 civilians, including women and children, and wounded 89 across 20 provinces,” tweeted Javid Faisal, a spokesman for ONSC.
Meanwhile, the deputy minister of interior for security affairs said that the Taliban’s violence is no longer acceptable to the Afghan people.
Currently, the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) are fighting the Taliban in at least 15 provinces of the country, said officials.
Experts have said that the Afghan peace process will be in jeopardy if the warring sides do not de-escalate and do not reduce violence.
“They (ANDSF) will continue to launch their resolute operations and take firm action against the Taliban, who resort to violence,” said Abdul Saboor Qane, the deputy minister of interior for security affairs.
“One solution is to start the intra-Afghan talks and then agree on a ceasefire to give an end to the Afghan conflict,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.
Helmand, Badakhshan, Takhar, Kunduz, Faryab, Balkh, Paktia, Nangarhar, Paktika, Baghlan, Herat, Maidan, Wardak, Badghis, Kapisa, Samangan and Kandahar are among the provinces where the Afghan forces are engaged in fighting with Taliban outfits.
“Unfortunately two army soldiers were killed and six more were wounded in the latest armed attack,” said Sanaullah Rouhani, a spokesman for the Badakhshan governor.
“It's a clear fact that the Taliban have trained other terrorists and deployed them,” said Jawed Safai, a member of the Afghan parliament.
Pakistan has also called on Afghan warring sides to de-escalate and show restraint amid peace efforts.
"Pakistan reiterates its commitments to continue to support a peaceful stable united democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and its neighbors. On 18 May the special representatives on Afghanistan affairs from Pakistan, China. Russia and Iran held a mutual meeting and exchanged views on the current situation of Afghanistan and the peace and reconciliation process,” said Aisha Farooqi, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On April 25, The Afghan government said that the Taliban has conducted an average of 55 attacks per day since the signing of the peace deal with the United States in Doha on February 29.
President Ghani last month on the eve of Ramadan appealed to the Taliban to enact a ceasefire, in light of the pandemic spreading across the country.
The Taliban responded by calling the appeal "improbable" and "insincere" considering the government's continued detention of thousands of Taliban prisoners--vulnerable to contracting COVID-19--and for causing other "hurdles" to be in the way of the peace process.
The US is trying to convince the two sides to reduce violence.