Calm across Afghanistan as ceasefire holds on day two Aug 02, 2020 0 398 12345 AFPKabulCalm prevailed across much of Afghanistan on Saturday as a ceasefire between the Taliban and government forces appeared to be holding on its second day, boosting hopes that the two foes could soon begin peace talks.There were no reports of major clashes since Friday, and Afghans took advantage of it to continue celebrating the Eid al-Adha festival.The three-day truce is slated for the duration of the Muslim festival and is only the third official pause in the nearly 19 years of war that has ravaged Afghanistan.President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban have both signalled that peace talks could begin straight after Eid, and there are widespread calls to extend the ceasefire.“I think we are closer to peace talks more than any other time,” said Kabul resident Ahmad Rashed as he visited an animal market in the capital.“The sooner they start, more lives could be saved.”Muslims across the world buy sheep or cows to slaughter in an annual ritual during the Eid al-Adha festival.“There have been no reports of any terrorist attacks in the past two days since the ceasefire began,” Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman to the governor of the eastern province of Nangarhar told AFP.Nangarhar has seen regular clashes between government forces and the Taliban, and also attacks claimed by the extremist Islamic State group.In the southern province of Kandahar, where the Taliban control swathes of rural terrains, there were no reports of fighting.“There are no enemy movements or attacks by the Taliban,” said Baheer Ahmad, spokesman to Kandahar governor.As the ceasefire kicked off, the authorities begun releasing what they said were the final 500 Taliban prisoners on Friday.The Taliban have said they have already fulfilled their pledge to release 1,000 government forces.“There were some issues in our country and that is why we joined the Taliban,” Nasir, one inmate who was freed Friday night from Pul el-Charkhi prison near Kabul told AFP.“After my release I will not rejoin the Taliban. I joined once and made a mistake.”Ghani said more than 3,500 Afghan troops and nearly 800 civilians had been killed in attacks by the Taliban since their deal with Washington. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Medical frontliners warn Philippines losing battle against COVID-19 Aug 02, 2020 0 397 Kuwait bans flights from 31 ‘high-risk’ countries over virus concerns Aug 02, 2020 0 1330 ‘Hundreds’ of homes destroyed after Sudan dam collapse Aug 02, 2020 0 50 Tanzania bans Kenya Airways as coronavirus spat escalates AFP Dar es Salaam Tanzania banned Kenya’s national airline from entering the country effective Saturday, in the latest move in a deepening row triggered by Tanzania’s controversial handling of the coronavirus .. 11 killed as heavy crane collapses at India shipyard DPA New Delhi At least 11 workers were killed after a heavy crane collapsed on Saturday at the state-owned shipyard in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, police said. The recently procured crane came down as .. Children killed as floods ravage Afghan village Jalalabad At least 15 children and a woman were killed and dozens of houses destroyed as flash floods lashed a village in eastern Afghanistan, an official said on Saturday. Flooding caused by torrential rains struck a .. Media scion James Murdoch quits News Corp board AFP New York Former 21st Century Fox chief executive James Murdoch, the son of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, has resigned from News Corp’s board citing clashes over editorial content, US regulators said. The 47-year-old ..