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Taliban announces ceasefire following school bombing

The Taliban has announced a three-day ceasefire to mark Eid al-Fitr following the bombing of a girls’ school in Dasht-e-Barchi, in which over 50 people, mostly young girls, were killed and over 100 were injured.

Afghanistan’s President, Ashraf Ghani, accused the Taliban of conducting the attack and declared Tuesday a day of national morning. It was the deadliest attack in over a year. In a statement Ghani said;

“This savage group does not have the power to confront security forces on the battlefield, and instead targets with brutality and barbarism public facilities and the girls’ school”.

Afghanistan’s Interior minister further claimed that at least another 11 people were killed and 28 wounded in a bus explosion in Zabul province just hours before the Taliban ceasefire announcement.

The Taliban has instructed its forces that “if the enemy conducts any assault or attack against you during these days, stand ready to robustly protect and defend yourselves and your territory”.

This announcement follows a statement by the US that they would withdraw their existing forces from the region. Whilst the US intended to pull out all forces by 1 May, Washington has pushed back the deadline to 11 September, prompting a sharp response from the Taliban who claimed that any delay was a “violation” of the deal.

“If America again fails to live up to its commitments, then the world must bear witness and hold America accountable for all the consequences,” said leader of the Taliban, Haibatullah Akhunzada.

Read more here.

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