KABUL -- A number of residents and religious scholars from Jawzjan and Paktia provinces gathered Monday (June 3) to call on the Taliban militants to agree on a ceasefire during Eid ul Fitr, TOLOnews reported.
Eid is set to begin on either Tuesday or Wednesday (June 4 or 5) in Afghanistan.
"Violence increased during Ramadan, which is a sacred month and is a month of peace and mercy," said Ahmad Shah, a religious scholar from Jawzjan.
"The only demand of the elders and scholars here at this gathering from the warring parties is that they should agree on a ceasefire at least during Eid... which are happy days for Muslims," he said.
"We want a permanent ceasefire and peace. We call on the Taliban to announce peace during Eid as they did last year," said Abdullah Sial, a Paktia resident who attended the rally in Gardez.
The Taliban observed a rare three-day ceasefire last year during Eid.
However, three days after a meeting between the Taliban representatives and some Afghan politicians in Moscow, the leader of the militant group refused to implement a ceasefire during three days of Eid ul Fitr, despite repeated calls from leaders across the Afghan political spectrum.
"No one should expect us to pour cold water on the heated battlefronts of jihad or forget our 40-year sacrifices before reaching our objectives," Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada said in a message, according to AFP.