PM Narendra Modi praises Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani's bold initiatives towards peace


Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid in an interview with a local Afghan Radio station, Spogmai Radio, said this is not the first time the group called a pause in fighting.

The announcement came days after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that government troops would observe a week-long ceasefire with Taliban militant group beginning on 27 Ramadan, or June 12 on the Western calendar, and lasting through June 19.

In southern Kandahar province, the Taliban stormed a security checkpoint on Saturday night, killing five police, a spokesman for the provincial governor told Reuters.

One week before that attack, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for a deadly assault on the government finance directorate building.

Afghans exhausted by a almost 17-year war that is older than numerous country's citizens breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday after the Taliban announced its first ceasefire since the 2001 USA invasion - but some remain wary.

The Afghan government, which took the lead and offered unconditional peace talks and a cease-fire with the Taliban, is hoping for more from the deal. A suicide bomber wounded at least 10 civilians when he struck near the education department in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

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"The Islamic Republic of Iran supports the Afghan government's decision to establish ceasefire with the Taliban", said Bahram Ghasemi, the Spokesman of Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Saturday.

Hours before accepting the truce, the militants stormed military bases in western and northern Afghanistan, killing almost 40 soldiers. Taliban commanders said the military council wanted the Afghan nation to celebrate Eidul Fitr without fear, promising that the Taliban would not carry out attacks during the festival.

This attack, however, was not the last one in the string of incidents Monday. It was not immediately clear how many of them were among those killed. "Insurgents have set fire to two military Humvees as well as the checkpoint", he said.

The blast came soon after Afghanistan's top religious body had issued a fatwa declaring suicide attacks "haram", forbidden under the Islamic law.

He said there was a report of a single Taliban casualty but the group has not commented.