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Taliban announces three-day Eid ceasefire in Afghanistan

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By Michael Daventry
Taliban announces three-day Eid ceasefire in Afghanistan

Taliban forces in Afghanistan have announced a three-day ceasire over the Eid holiday in the middle of June.

It's the first time the militants have made such an offer, which comes days after the government declared its own ceasefire.

But attacks appear set to continue over the remainder of Ramadan.

In the latest incident, 17 troops were killed in a strike on a security outpost in the western Zawul district on Friday night.

Eid is set to begin on Friday, but the Taliban said it would continue to attack foreign forces in Afghanistan during the festival.

"Members of the Taliban should not participate in public gatherings during the Eid festivities because the enemy could target us," they said in a statement.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced an unconditional ceasefire with the Taliban on Thursday until June 20, but excluding other militant groups, such as Islamic State.

In February Ghani offered recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group in a proposed political process that he said could lead to talks to end more than 16 years of war.

He said a ceasefire and a release of prisoners were among options, including new elections involving the militants and a constitutional review, in a pact with the Taliban to end a conflict that killed or wounded more than 10,000 civilians last year alone.