Kabul, June 9: Barely a day after agreeing to the unilateral ceasefire offer made by President Ashraf Ghani, Taliban on Wednesday violated the accord, killing 19 police personnel in an attack on a base in Northern Kunduz on Saturday.
Immediately following the attack, the Taliban issued a statement claiming responsibility. Apart from the 19 policemen killed, 5 others were injured in a separate attack in Qala-e-Zal district, confirmed Nehmatullah Taimuri, spokesperson for the Kunduz Provincial Governor.
A day earlier, the Taliban issued a statement agreeing to desist from bloodshed till June 20, in order to allow the civilian populace to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr in a peaceful manner.
The insurgent outfit, however, had warned retaliation to all sort of attacks. The 15,000-odd US troops stationed in Afghanistan was also exempted from the ceasefire, the Taliban had claimed.
Incidentally, the surprise truce came a couple of days after the Taliban bombed to death 14 clerics in Kabul who were part of the group of scholars which issued a fatwa against suicide bombings.
The violation of ceasefire comes as a major setback to the Ashraf Ghani-government, which has been aiming to reconcile with the militants since assuming power in 2014.
The Taliban, however, has desisted from negotiating with the civilian regime, particularly after the death of its supreme leader Mullah Omar in 2015. The group fears mass exodus of its cadres to the Islamic State (ISIS) in case if it is perceived to have entered into a secret negotiation with the government.
The backchannel negotiations with Kabul further fall apart after the Donald Trump-led US regime adopted a more hawkish approach, escalating the aerial strikes on the militants.