Blast taints cease-fire in Afghanistan, 25 killed

Explosion comes as rude shock to Afghans hoping cease-fire over Eid may pave way for long-term peace

Blast taints cease-fire in Afghanistan, 25 killed

World Bulletin / News Desk

At least 25 people were killed in an explosion in eastern Nangarhar province on Saturday that crushed the spirit of goodwill and hope for peace in the country that was observing the second day of cease-fire between the government and the Taliban.

Nangarhar governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said the blast had targeted a meeting of the Afghan Taliban and local government officials in connection with the Eid cease-fire in Rodaat district.

Among the dead were Taliban fighters, security officials and civilians, Khogyani said. He added the gathering had been called to celebrate and consolidate the cease-fire. More than 50 people were also wounded, many in critical condition in the attack, the spokesman added.

ISIL terror group claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a statement posted on its propaganda website, the terror group said the suicide attack targeted Afghan security officials and the Taliban.

Reports of the explosion came as a rude shock to Afghans who were hoping the cease-fire over Eid would pave the way for long-term peace and stability in the war-torn country.

Pictures of the Taliban and Afghan forces posing for selfies -- praying, smiling and walking together -- during Eid had gone viral on social media, giving hope to millions that the landmark temporary truce might lead to an end of the 17-year-old deadly conflict.

The Ministry of Defense even said before the Nangarhar blast that no cease-fire violations had taken place.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani hinted at an extension of the cease-fire despite the blast. Addressing the nation on the national broadcaster, Ghani said security forces have been ordered to extend the cease-fire.

“We also request the Afghan Taliban to extend their cease-fire. During the cease-fire, we will provide medical assistance to the wounded Taliban, and will provide them any humanitarian assistance if needed.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Haziran 2018, 09:25