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Afghanistan: Taliban announce three-day Eid ceasefire

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Afghanistan: Taliban announce three-day Eid ceasefire

First such response to Afghan government eight day ceasefire

Responding to Afghan government’s eight day ceasefire on the occasion of Eidfestival, the Taliban in Afghanistan has for the first time announced a three-day ceasefire on Eid al-Fitrholiday at the end of this week.

According to Kabul based Tolo News, Taliban on Saturday issued a statement that it has ordered its fighters not to clash with Afghani Security forces for the first three days of Eid. Most of the Muslim countries observe three day holidays for the Eid celebrations.

However, the statement said that the ceasefire would exclude foreign forces ordering their fighters to continue attacks on them.

Taliban have not given exact dates according to Gregorian calendar as Eid is celebrated according to lunar Islamic calendar. Eid starts when the moon is first sighted on either the 29th or 30th day of Ramadan. Sometimes moon appears at different days in a single country.

Read More: Afghan President declare temporary ceasefire against Taliban

Taliban’s response came after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a televised address on Thursday announced an unconditional ceasefire with the Taliban from June 12 to 19. Ghani said fighting against other armed groups such as Daesh (IS) will continue.

The surprise move by the government came days after over 2000 Islamic scholars in Kabul issued a fatwaagainst suicide bombings and attacks. Unfortunately, the meeting was attacked by a suicide bomber, killing at least seven people.

Moreover, the Tolo News said that Taliban also ordered their shadow governors to identify prisoners in their custody, who could provide guarantees that they would not be a future threat to the group, to be released. The group’s leadership has also asked their fighters to make arrangements for families of prisoners to visit them during Eid.

Afghanistan: Taliban announce three-day Eid ceasefire

The ceasefire announcement by the government and Taliban triggered a positive vibes among the international community. US State Department, NATO’s Resolute Support Mission and US forces in Afghanistan, Federica Mogherini, the Chief of EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Boris Johnson, UK Foreign Secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and Russian foreign ministry have welcomed the move.

In 2014, the US and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan, but US Pentagon still has thousands of forces based in the country. The Trump administration has sent additional troops to try to change the course of America’s longest war.

At least 17 soldiers were killed when their checkpoint came under attack by the Taliban in western Herat province, just hours before the ceasefire announcement, said GelaniFarhad, spokesman for the provincial governor. One soldier was wounded while eight Taliban attackers were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded during the gun battle.

In February, Ghani offered recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group in a proposed political process that he said could lead to talks to end more than 16 years of war.

The Taliban has been fighting in  different parts of  the country since it was removed from power in 2001 by the US-led forces, in the aftermath of 9/11 terror attacks. The Taliban has set the withdrawal of foreign forces as a pre-condition for peace talks.

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Suicide bombing near Turkey Parliament building in Ankara, 2 cops injured

Turkey’s main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has slammed the attack in Ankara and stated that terrorism is a crime against humanity.

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Suicide bombing near Turkey Parliament building in Ankara, 2 cops injured

Turkey’s interior minister Ali Yerlikaya on Sunday asserted that two terrorists carried out a bomb attack in front of the ministry buildings in Ankara. He added that one of them died in the explosion and the other was “neutralised” by authorities there.

Earlier, Turkish media reported that an explosion was heard near the parliament and ministerial buildings, and broadcasters showed footage of debris scattered on a street near the Interior Ministry. A footage from Reuters showed soldiers, ambulances, fire trucks and an armoured vehicle gathered near the centre of Turkey’s capital, where the police have blocked multiple key roads.

Taking to social media X, formerly Twitter, Ali Yerlikaya, the interior minister, said that two police officers were slightly injured in the incident at 9:30 a.m. He added that two terrorists came with a light commercial vehicle in front of the entrance gate of the General Directorate of Security of their Ministry of Internal Affairs and carried out a bomb attack.

The interior minister further mentioned that one of the terrorists blew himself up and the other was neutralised, which usually means was killed. He noted that their struggle will continue until the last terrorist is neutralised.

Reports said that Ankara’s chief prosecutor initiated an investigation into what it also called a terrorist attack. Authorities did not identify any specific militant group, as yet.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has slammed the attack in Ankara and stated that terrorism is a crime against humanity. The leader of the Republican People’s Party mentioned that no matter from whom and where it came from, they will fight it together as a country and will never give treacherous ambitions a chance.

The concerned authorities in Ankara have cautioned the citizens over suspicious packages and bags that are being detonated in a controlled manner. Ankara Security Directorate asked citizens not to panic.

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Balochistan blast: Pakistan alleges India’s involvement in suicide attack, toll rises to 60

Sarfaraz Bugti told media that civil, military and all other institution will jointly strike against the elements involved in the Mastung suicide bombing.

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Balochistan blast: Pakistan alleges India’s involvement in suicide attack, toll rises to 60

Pakistan interior minister Sarfaraz Bugti in a shocking claim alleged India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency for the suicide blast in Balochistan. The blast that took place on Friday claimed the lives of nearly 60 people, leaving 60 others injured. The Indian government, on the other hand, is yet to make an official statement on Sarfaraz Bugti’s allegations. 

The suicide bomb attack targeted a procession which gathered to celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday near the Madina Masjid at a place called Mastung. The blast tore through the mosque in the southern province of Balochistan after the bomber denoted his explosive near a police vehicle where the people gathered for the procession. 

Sarfaraz Bugti told media at Quetta that civil, military and all other institution will jointly strike against the elements involved in the Mastung suicide bombing. Without providing much details or evidence, the Pakistan minister claimed that RAW is involved in the suicide attack.

Wasim Baig, the spokesman for Balochistan’s health department, asserted that seven more people had died in hospital since Friday, which had caused the rise in the death toll. He added that more patients remained in critical condition.

In addition, a second attack on Friday at a mosque in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had killed nearly five people. Police on Saturday lodged a report to initiate an investigation, mentioning that they had sent DNA from the suicide bomb attacker to be analysed.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for either attack. A surge in terror attacks in Pakistan’s western provinces has cast a shadow on preparations and public campaigning in the run-up to January’s general elections, but until now the attacks had mostly targeted security forces.

The Pakistani Taliban (TTP), which is responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks in Pakistan since the group’s formation in 2007, denied responsibility for Friday’s blasts. On Saturday, a statement from the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) said that an FIR with murder charges and terrorism offences has been registered against an unidentified attacker. 

The caretaker government of Balochistan announced three days of mourning in the wake of the attack.

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Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Mahmood Qureshi held guilty in cipher case

The PTI leaders’ trial has been requested by the FIA, and it is expected that they would be sentenced in accordance with the law.

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Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi were found guilty on Saturday by Pakistan’s top investigating agency in the cypher case, a case involving the alleged exposure of state secrets.

The charge sheet against Khan, the Tehreek-e-Insaf party chairman, and Qureshi, who are both presently being held in custody on judicial remand, was submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to a special court set up under the Official Secrets Act, according to the Pakistan Observer website.

Imran Khan, 70, was detained last month following the filing of a complaint against him for allegedly breaking the Official Secrets Act by revealing a covert diplomatic cable (cypher) issued by the nation’s embassy in Washington last year in March.

The PTI leaders’ trial has been requested by the FIA, and it is expected that they would be sentenced in accordance with the law.

The vice chairman of PTI is 75-year-old Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Asad Umar, the former general secretary of the PTI, is not on the FIA’s list of suspects, but former principal secretary Azam Khan has been portrayed as a key witness in the FIA’s case against Imran Khan, according to GeoTV, a well-known news outlet. The challan also contains Azam Khan’s statement recorded under sections 161 and 164.

The speeches by Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Imran Khan from March 27 are also included in the FIA’s attachment.

The Pakistan Observer further noted that the FIA had provided the court with a list of 28 witnesses in addition to the charge sheet. According to the report, the list of witnesses includes names such as current foreign secretary Asad Majid, previous foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood, and additional foreign secretary Faisal Niaz Tirmizi.

Imran Khan had been imprisoned on remand three times earlier on September 26. Along with Qureshi, his judicial remand was initially extended until September 13 and then again until September 26.

The former PM was transferred from Attock prison to the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on the same day, one day after the Islamabad High Court instructed authorities to do so.

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