Security

ISIS desecrates end of Eid with carnage in Jalalabad

Salaam Times

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Afghan soldiers arrive with their Humvee outside a prison during an ISIS raid in Jalalabad on August 3. [Noorullah Shirzada/AFP]

JALALABAD -- The "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) proved once again that it does not respect the core tenants of Islam as its fighters killed at least 29 people in a raid on a prison in Jalalabad Monday (August 3) at the end of Eid ul Adha celebrations.

Fighting ended mid-afternoon Monday after a 20-hour battle at the jail in Jalalabad, where some 1,700 ISIS and Taliban inmates were being held.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

The fighting saw more than 1,000 inmates escape before most of them were recaptured.

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Dozens of Kunduz city residents take to the streets on July 31 to celebrate a ceasefire announced by the Taliban militants during Eid ul Adha. [Hedayatullah]

Officials said a total of 10 attackers were killed.

ISIS gunmen initially setting off an explosives-packed car near the prison, then opened fire on the guards at the facility from a nearby market.

ISIS marked the beginning of this year's Eid ul Adha with two attacks in Herat that targeted shoppers and civilians riding on a bus, further lengthening its long history of attacks on Islamic holidays.

The raid came a day after the country's intelligence agency announced the killing of a top ISIS commander near Jalalabad.

Assadullah Orakzai was involved in several deadly attacks against Afghan security forces, the National Directorate of Security said Saturday (August 1).

Nangarhar has seen some deadly ISIS attacks this year including a May 12 suicide bomb that killed 32 mourners at a funeral for a police commander.

Taliban 'not committed'

The attack was the most violent incident since the Taliban and Afghan security forces held a three-day ceasefire over Eid al-Adha, which ended Sunday (August 2).

Afghan authorities hoped would pave the way for peace talks with the Taliban as soon as this week, but the government accused the Taliban of violating the ceasefire 38 times over the three days.

The Taliban killed 20 civilians and wounded 40 by "carrying out terrorist and offensive attacks as well as using landmines" during the truce, said Interior Affairs Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian.

The Taliban are "not committed to what they say", he said.

Both Kabul and the Taliban have signalled they could be ready to start talks after Eid, and the Afghan government August 2 offered to extend the ceasefire.

The insurgents have not formally responded.

The biggest hurdle to talks starting is a contentious prisoner swap stipulated under the US-Taliban deal.

Under the exchange, Kabul is meant to free around 5,000 Taliban prisoners in return for 1,000 Afghan security personnel held captive by the insurgents.

More than 4,900 inmates have been freed, the National Security Council said August 2.

The Taliban last week said they had already met their side of the commitment.

Afghan authorities, however, have refused to free about 400 Taliban inmates accused of serious crimes like murders and even attacks against foreign countries.

A loya jirga will decide their fate Friday (August 7) in Kabul, said Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani.

Short-lived calm

The rare respite from violence over Eid gave some Afghans the opportunity to safely visit relatives after long periods apart.

"I managed to visit my village for the first time in two years," said Khalil Ahmad from volatile Uruzgan Province.

"There were many Taliban check-posts on the way, but they did not bother anyone."

But in Kunduz August 3, any sense of calm felt short-lived.

One resident, Atiqullah, who uses only one name, said that while there had been no attacks that day, rumours were circulating that the Taliban were regrouping around Kunduz city.

"Today, you see that familiar fear in people's faces again, and I am more careful not to leave home today unless it's absolutely necessary," he told AFP.

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ISIS is nothing, all these are works of Pakistani intelligence who makes such groups and assigns them to kill Afghans. This series has been going on for the last 45 years. At first, they trained groups under the name of jihadi organizations led by Gulbadin, Massoud, Rabbani, Sayyaf, and made them destroy Afghanistan, then they trained Taliban and made them destroy Afghanistan, then they sold Taliban to America, and got money for them, then they regrouped Taliban and made them destroy Afghanistan. If tomorrow a peace agreement is made between Taliban and Afghan government, Pakistan's intelligence will support terrorist groups under the name of ISIS. On one side, Iran's terrorist revolutionary guard funds the Fatemiyoun terrorist group, on the other hand, Pakistan's terrorist intelligence agency (ISI) supports Taliban and ISIS, and both of them jointly destroy Afghanistan.

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Taliban had to respect people's happiness and they should continue the ceasefire. The oppressors did not even let the people celebrate their Eid with happiness.

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Temporary ceasefires do not give result. Murder and bloodshed will not stop unless there is a permanent ceasefire in this country. People were very much expecting that the three-day old Eid al-Adha ceasefire would be extended after Eid and that the people would live in peace and tranquility, but everything happened against the expectation of the people and dozens of families lost their beloved ones in several events across the country. We want a lasting ceasefire and peace, and we call on the international community, especially the United States, to put an end to the war of Afghanistan as soon as possible, because the United States started this war 20 years ago and they must end it.

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