Speed Reads

a bit of good news

The Afghan Taliban agreed to its first ceasefire since 2001

The Taliban on Saturday agreed to a three-day ceasefire with local forces in Afghanistan, its first such agreement since 2001. The ceasefire is scheduled to honor the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which in Afghanistan will be held this coming week. Foreign troops will be excluded from the deal, and the Taliban said its fighters will defend themselves if attacked.

The announcement came several days after the Afghan government announced a unilateral ceasefire for the holiday. Government forces will continue fighting other militant groups active in their country, like the Islamic State.

"Hope the pleasure of shedding no Afghan blood in Eid becomes so overwhelming that rest of year is also declared as Afghan Eid," said Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal. The Afghan government, with U.S. support, has been making overtures to the Taliban for peace talks this spring.