BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 P.M.) – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani declared a formal end to the government’s ceasefire with the Taliban, but urged militants to join peace negotiations, at a press conference in Kabul on Saturday.
Ghani announced that “the ceasefire is over,” noting that Afghan security and defence forces may resume their military operations against the Taliban across the country.
He called on the Taliban to make a decision, saying that “now it is your decision whether you will keep killing or join the peace process.”
Ghani had ordered government forces to halt military operations for ten days, following a short Eid al-Fitr ceasefire of June 15-17 to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
During the unprecedented ceasefire, Taliban militants, Afghan soldiers and residents were seen mingling, embracing, exchanging flags and posing together for pictures.