Taliban movement on Saturday declared a three-day ceasefire with Afghan security forces during Eid al-Fitr for the first time since 2001 and two days after President Ashraf Ghani announced a unilateral ceasefire.
However, the movement warned in a "WhatsApp" statement that it will continue operations against the foreign troops stationed in Afghanistan, adding that it will strongly defend itself against any attack.
This is the 1st ceasefire announcement in 17 years, ever since the movement was toppled following a US-led military intervention.
"All the mujahideen are directed to stop offensive operations against Afghan forces for the first three days of Eid-al-Fitr," the Taliban said in a WhatsApp message.
"If the mujahideen are attacked we will strongly defend (ourselves)" the statement added.
President Ashraf Ghani, whose calls for peace have not been met with response yet, announced a unilateral ceasefire on Thursday with Taliban, but not with the so-called "Daesh" organization.
It would last "from the 27th of Ramadan until the fifth day of Eid-al-Fitr", Ghani tweeted from an official account, indicating it could run till June 19.
The Afghan government has hailed ceasefire announcement made by the Taliban on Eid al-Fitr, as officials expressed their hope that this will revive peace talks, Afghan Press Agency reported on Monday.
Mohammad Haroon Chakhansuri, spokesman for the Afghan president, welcomed the cease-fire announcement during a news conference in Kabul.
"We hope that (the Taliban) will be committed to implementing their announcement of the cease-fire," he said. "The Afghan government will take all steps needed to make sure that there is no bloodshed in Afghanistan."
"The government of Afghanistan is hopeful that this process will become a long term process and will result in a sustainable peace," Chakhansuri added.
The move came days after a gathering of Afghanistan's top clerics in Kabul called for a ceasefire and issued a fatwa against suicide bombings and attack under the name of "Jihad" stressing that it's against Islamic laws.
An hour after the fatwa was issued, a suicide bomber was detonated outside the gathering, killing seven people, the attack was later claimed by ISIS.
Afghan political analyst Haroon Mir told AFP it was "too early to be very optimistic".
"We don't know what will happen in the next few days or afterwards," he added.
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