Afghan leader announces truce with Taliban.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. – A file photo

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday announced a provisional three-month ceasefire with the Taliban in a televised broadcast. President Ghani said the truce would hold only if the insurgents reciprocated.

The announcement followed a bloody week of fighting across Afghanistan which saw the Taliban launch a massive assault against the provincial capital Ghazni, international media reported.

Anticipation had been mounting ahead of Ghani’s speech following mixed signals from the presidential palace over whether the government would offer a fresh truce, following a brief, unprecedented one earlier this year.

“I once again announce a ceasefire from tomorrow until the prophet’s birthday provided that the Taliban reciprocate,” said Ghani, referring to the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday which Afghanistan celebrates on November 21.