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Afghan government welcomes Taliban ceasefire announcement

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By Mark Armstrong
An Afghan army vehilce destroyed in fighting with the Taliban
An Afghan army vehilce destroyed in fighting with the Taliban

The Afghan government has welcomed the Taliban announcement of a three-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

It is the first time the group has made such a move since their regime was toppled in 2001 by the U.S. led invasion. The ceasefire excludes attacks on foreign forces.

"The government of Afghanistan has taken and will take all the steps to make sure that there is no more bloodshed in Afghanistan," said Mohammad Haroon Chakhansuri, Afghan presidential spokesman, "and even if these steps are smaller steps we welcome those. We welcome the announcement made by the Taliban and we hope that they will be committed to implement their announcement and the ceasefire."

The announcement came after Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, declared a week-long truce to coincide with the holiday.

The Taliban attack Afghan security forces on a daily basis. On Saturday alone, more than 60 Afghan troops were killed by the group and thousands of civilians have died in their attacks over the years.