Violence Reported in 15 Provinces as Ceasefire Ends

Shortly after the end of the three-day ceasefire, fighting escalated in at least 15 provinces since the early hours of Sunday.

The Defense Ministry said that the Taliban violated the ceasefire in 21 provinces and that 21 civilians were killed and 33 more were wounded in their attacks during the three days of Eid ( May 13 to 15).

But the Taliban has denied violating the ceasefire.

Abdul Zahir Atal, the police chief of Dawlatshah district in Laghman, died of wounds sustained in a clash with the Taliban in the province on Sunday, a local official said.

“Dawlatshah district has been faced with a tough security situation over the last seven months and there has been no attention to it,” said Mohammad Farooq Watanyar, a resident of Laghman.

In Helmand, meanwhile, Afghan forces launched operations on the outskirts of Lashkargah city and Nahre Saraj district in which at least 20 Taliban were killed, the Defense Ministry said.

“There are clashes in Nawa district. There were sporadic attacks on an outpost on the outskirts of Lashkargah city. Now, the fighting has escalated. We expected the ceasefire to continue,” said Ataullah Afghan, head of the Helmand provincial council.

According to information provided by security agencies, 18 provinces witnessed ceasefire violations by the Taliban from May 13 to May 15.

But a Taliban spokesman denied violating the ceasefire but said that some bombs that were placed before the ceasefire detonated and caused casualties.

“The Taliban’s ‘terrorist’ activities continued during the three days of ceasefire in which 21 civilians were martyred and 33 more were wounded,” said Fawad Aman, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense. “Their terrorist activities continued after the ceasefire.”

Kabul residents said there is a need for a greater focus on peace efforts and a permanent ceasefire in the country.

“The negotiations will lead to a result if there is a continued ceasefire,” said Hassan Khan, a Kabul resident.

“War is not the solution. People want to live in peace and stability,” said Jamil, a Kabul resident.

Meanwhile, President Ghani has ordered military commanders to conduct operations against the Taliban if they continue violence operations

“Nothing has been achieved or will be achieved by violence. If they think that they will win militarily, they have calculated wrong. Afghan people will never surrender,” said Basir Osmani, an MP from Badghis.