Bomber strikes gathering of mostly Taliban members celebrating cease-fire, official says

In this file image made from video broadcast on Thursday Nov. 7 2013 undated footage of Mullah Fazlullah is shown on a projector in Pakistan

Dozens of unarmed Taliban militants entered cities on Saturday to celebrate an unprecedented ceasefire.

He also repeated his promise that everything could be on the negotiation table, including the presence of foreign forces. "But it has now become abundantly clear to everyone that this assertion is baseless".

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced the decision to resume fighting after President Ashraf Ghani said Saturday a government truce with the militants would be extended.

However, the truce was shaken when a bomb exploded in the eastern city of Nangarhar this afternoon killing dozens and wounding another 47.

Most of the dead and wounded were Taliban, said Stanikzai.

Barnett R Rubin, an Afghanistan at the Center on global cCooperation, said the ceasefire will make it easier for high-level talks to occur as Taliban fighters had strictly obeyed the command of their leaders.

The incidents have plunged war-weary Afghan citizens into a state of despair and highlighted the limitations faced by the government in Kabul in ensuring public security.

"The consequences could be disastrous", he said.

Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, says the attack took place near the governor's compound on Sunday, as Taliban fighters, Afghan security forces and civilians were celebrating the third day of a holiday cease-fire.

The president did not immediately mention the bomb-blast.

A vehicle bomb killed 36 people in Nangarhar on Saturday, an attack claimed by Daesh terrorist group.

No group including the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Western diplomats based in Kabul said they were issuing fresh travel warnings for the country.

The Taliban leader in Afghanistan, Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada, said in an Eid address that his group wanted to see the USA military and other foreign forces leave Afghanistan. "Nobody has any clue how many Taliban militants are now hiding in civilian areas". "Look, everyone you see here, we are all Muslims and mujahideen", the man said, referring to Afghans who fought against Soviet forces in the 1980s.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, echoing Ghani's announcement on Saturday, said peace talks would have to include a discussion on the role of "international actors and forces".

In a on June 16 televised address announcing an extension of the government's cease-fire, Ghani said he was prepared to discuss Taliban demands, including the status of foreign forces in Afghanistan in the future.

For many Afghans it has been first glimpse of peace in their lifetime.

It is the Taliban's first ceasefire since the government they ran was toppled by the 2001 US-led invasion.

The Taliban are fighting US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces, combined under the Resolute Support mission, and Ghani's US-backed government to restore sharia, or Islamic law, after their ouster by US-led forces in 2001.

The freaky images served as powerful propaganda for both sides and have fanned hopes among war-weary Afghans for the ceasefire to continue.

'I'm so happy for the cease fire in Afghanistan, and I am hoping peace forever'.

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