The Taliban initiated on average 30 attacks on the Afghan security forces each day after the Eid-ul-Fitr ceasefire, sources within the Afghan government said on Thursday amid persistent calls by the international community for the Taliban to extend the ceasefire. Initially, there was hope that the Eid ceasefire would be extended to help facilitate the intra-Afghan talks.
According to the sources, the Afghan forces also suffered casualties as a result of these attacks.
Violence has sky-rocketed following the US-Taliban agreement signed in late February in Doha, but in an unexpected move, the Taliban on Saturday (May 22) announced a three-day ceasefire with the Afghan government on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
In response, President Ashraf Ghani on the following day pledged to release 2,000 more Taliban prisoners and to focus on furthering peace efforts.
The Afghan government has been pressing the Taliban to abandon further violence to help pave the way for intra-Afghan talks.
The Afghan government so far has not provided any details about the exact numbers of casualties among Afghan forces after the ceasefire.
“A significant reduction of violence or a ceasefire will help us to proceed with the next steps, which include the start of direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban,” said Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman to President Ashraf Ghani.
In the latest incident, the Taliban launched an attack on government forces’ checkpoints in the Hesarak district of eastern Nangarhar province.
“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,” said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for Nangarhar governor.
“There is war in Logar every moment,” said Nafisa Hejran, a member of Logar's provincial council.
Experts believe that the continuation of violence and war could put the process of the prisoners' swap and peace process into 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 defense commission.
On Wednesday, May 27, the day after Eid, the Afghan forces launched an air strike in the central province of Zabul, which, according to sources, targeted the insurgents. In retaliation, the Taliban also launched a series of attacks on parts of Farah, Parwan and Paktia province targeting Afghan forces.