Shehbaz welcomes Eid ceasefire between Taliban, Afghan govt

People treated in hospital

Injured men receive treatment at a hospital following a suicide attack in Jalalabad,east of Kabul

Three attackers were shot dead by security forces as they tried to enter the building, Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor of Nangarhar province said on Monday.

Three days back, President Ashraf Ghani said the Afghan government supporting recent Ulema fatwa in Kabul had chose to announce ceasefire with the Taliban from 27 of Ramadan (June 12) until fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr.

The group warned that if they come under attack, they would retaliate, a Taliban military commander told The News.

Elsewhere in Ghazni, at least three local police and 10 Taliban fighters were killed in clashes, Noori said.

The Taliban armed group, which has waged a bloody armed rebellion against Kabul since it was removed from power in 2001, also agreed to a three-day ceasefire to coincide with a Muslim holiday of Eid.

It would last "from the 27th of Ramadan until the fifth day of Eid-al-Fitr", Ghani tweeted from an official account, indicating it could run till June 19.

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"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".

The move was greeted with optimism from NATO, with General Curtis Scaparrotti, NATO's supreme commander in Europe, giving an upbeat assessment this week of the struggle against the Taliban.

The Taliban's leadership based in neighboring Pakistan - not wanting to be seen by their rank-and-file fighters as negotiating with the enemy - has publicly accused the government of not being serious about peace and of being a stooge of US -led foreign forces. The attack apparently targeted the Education Department in Jalalabad, officials said. The fighting also killed more than 180 Afghan civilians in May.

An hour after the fatwa was issued, a suicide bomber detonated outside the gathering, killing seven people. The strategic attacks were focused on the two security checkpoints in Kunduz.

Ghani in February 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.

Previously, a similar attack on security forces claimed the lives of 17 security personnel in Shindand district of the western Herat province on Friday night.

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