The Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Friday accused the Taliban of having violated the ceasefire that was put in place on Saturday despite the group's assurances to fully implement the ceasefire with the Afghan forces.
According to Afghan defense officials, at least 14 members of the Afghan Border Force were killed in an attack by the Taliban in Dand-e-Patan district in the eastern province of Paktia on Thursday evening, despite a ceasefire that continues between the two sides following the initial Eid agreement.
Three other soldiers were wounded in the attack, said the Ministry of Defense.
The Afghan government has again called on the group to respect the ceasefire so that the way is paved for the start of intra-Afghan talks.
Previously, the Taliban accused the Afghan forces of targeting civilians in an airstrike in southern Zabul province.
“The Afghan government released a large number of Taliban prisoners to help the ceasefire move on and to help start direct talks with the government,” said Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani.
Afghan officials believe that an extension of the ceasefire will help the country reach long-term peace.
“The Afghans may reach to peace if the intra-Afghan talks are started simultaneously with the ceasefire,” said Mohammad Yasin, the governor of Helmand.
Ordinary Afghans have also been pushing for the two sides to agree on a long-term ceasefire.
“We want the ceasefire that was announced during the Eid to continue,” said Ahmad Ali, a resident in Kabul.
“The war has gone on enough now. How long should we face poverty and destruction, we are at war for 40 years--its enough now,” said Abdul Wase, a resident in Kabul.
The Eid ceasefire--from May 24 to May 26-- was announced by the Taliban and reciprocated by the Afghan government, and, according to figures provided by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, civilian casualties dropped by 80 percent.
There were reports of two security incidents in each of the three days of Eid, but they were significantly less than recent averages.
According to the AIHRC, before the ceasefire, up to 30 Afghans were killed and wounded as a result of war and violence in the country on a daily basis.
Zabul in the south, Farah in the west and Parwan in the center of Afghanistan have witnessed clashes between government forces and the Taliban in the last 24 hours, according to officials and local sources.