Afghans ‘tired of war’, say exhausted peace marchers in Kabul

An injured man is pushed on a stretcher to a hospital after a car bomb in Jalalabad city Afghanistan | REUTERS  Parwiz

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The marchers, varying in numbers from day to day, started walking after a auto bomb attack in Helmand on March 23 that killed at least 14 people.

The spokesman also hoped that the ceasefire between Taliban and the Afghan government leads to sustainable peace and stability in the country.

Amaq, the news agency affiliated with the IS group, said the extremist group claimed responsibility for that attack.

Najibullah Kamawal, director of the health department in the eastern Nangarhar province, said another 65 people were wounded in Saturday's attack.

Millions of Afghans celebrated the cease-fire and Eid al-Fitr over the weekend as surreal scenes of brotherhood unfolded between Taliban militants and government officials.

The Taliban had agreed to the temporary ceasefire to allow its fighters to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Sunday was the third and last day of cease-fire declared by the Taliban and the sixth day of the cease-fire announced by the government.

Ghani's extension of the government's eight-day ceasefire, which had been due to expire Tuesday night, drew immediate global support and calls for the Taliban to follow suit.

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And a photo tweeted by an Afghan news correspondent showed what appeared to be a Taliban fighter and an Afghan service member taking a selfie.

On Saturday a suicide bombing in the same province, also on a gathering of Taliban and local officials, left 36 people dead.

Defense ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanesh told AFP there had been "very few" reports of fighting since the government on Saturday extended its own ceasefire with the Taliban for another 10 days.

The government says however that it will continue its ceasefire for another nine days but that security forces can defend themselves if attacked.

Hundreds of Afghan peace marchers arrived exhausted in the capital, Kabul, on Monday after spending the fasting month of Ramadan crossing the sun-baked, war-torn country, much of it under Taliban control.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed Ghani's speech, saying peace negotiations would require a discussion of what role "international actors and forces" play in Afghanistan.

People celebrate ceasefire in Rodat district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan June 16, 2018.

One Taliban member was pictured holding an Afghan flag on a bridge in the city as residents took selfies with him.

Despite more aggressive military operations against the Taliban under a new approach adopted by U.S. President Donald Trump previous year, the Taliban still holds large swaths of the country.

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