Ceasefire ends with a blast at football ground in Khost
The temporary period of calm was disrupted when a bomb blast occurred in the eastern part of Afghanistan, just days after the peace deals signed between US and Taliban. The deadly attack was carried out in a football field in Khost, killing three people, possibly brothers.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but the timeline for the incident coincides with Taliban announcing that they would continue to fight the Afghan army and police forces, violating the “reduction in violence” imposed by the Afghan government on February 22.
The United States and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan or Taliban signed peace deal on February 29, ending the 18 year- long war in Afghanistan where the US agreed to withdraw all of its troops in Afghanistan in exchange for peace with Taliban. Taliban spokesperson mentioned that they would honour the peace deal between them and the US and would not attack the international troops. Taliban spokesperson said that are ready to make peace with Ghani’s government provided they release 5000 Taliban prisoners under the government as agreed before. Ghani’s government refused to act on this, claiming that they were not involved in any such deal. Afghanistan currently holds around 10,000 Taliban prisoners under their jurisdiction.
According to the peace deal signed by Taliban and US and NATO allies, the following events are set to take place. The US is going to release 5,000 Taliban and 1000 non-Taliban prisoners by March 10. By May 29, the United Nations Security Council will lift the sanctions on Taliban fighters and the remaining prisoners will be released. On June 15, US would withdraw forces from the five military bases and the coalition forces would be reduced to 8,600 in the region. From August 27, US would lift all sanctions against Taliban. The deal is expected to be completed by April 29, 2021 where the US would withdraw all of its troops in the five military bases.