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Afghan president announces end to ceasefire with Taliban, orders security forces to resume operation

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Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani announced end to his government's unilateral ceasefire on Saturday and orders security forces to resume anti-militants operations in the country.

"Now, it is up to the Taliban's decision, whether they want to join the peace process or keep on killing in the country," Ghani told reporters at a press conference here.

In efforts to encourage the Taliban militants to support the national reconciliation process, the president announced a seven-day ceasefire on June 12 and the Taliban outfit in response announced a three-day truce, allowing Afghans to have peaceful days on Eid ul- Fitr, the second largest religious festival to mark the end of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month which ended on June 17.

President Ghani extended the government ceasefire for another 10 days, requesting the Taliban outfit to follow suit. However, the militants refused to extend and instead begun attacking security forces elsewhere in the war-battered country.

The extension of truce by Ghani has been widely welcomed by Afghans and people from all walks of life have called upon Taliban militants to reciprocate the offer.

However, Zabihullah Majahid who claims to speak for the Taliban outfit, in contact with media has rejected the offer and said that the insurgent outfit would continue the Jihad or holy war against the Afghan government and foreign forces stationed in Afghanistan.

President Ghani, however, on Saturday, called upon the Taliban militants to respect the demand of Afghans for peace and initiate dialogue for returning lasting peace in the country.

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