Pakistani Taliban announce a 3-day cease-fire with security forces on Eid al-Adha holiday

A passenger loads his sheep into train at Lahore Railway Station for the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, June. 15, 2024. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A key Pakistani militant group behind scores of gun and bomb attacks on Sunday announced a rare cease-fire with security forces during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Eid al-Adha will be celebrated in Pakistan on Monday amid a surge in violence.

The cease-fire announcement would allow worshippers to attend Eid prayers at mosques and open areas without fear of attacks by militants.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which is a separate group from but a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, said in a statement it decided to announce a cease-fire on the demand from the Pakistani people.

TTP said its fighters would defend themselves if acted by security forces. TTP has been emboldened since the Afghan Taliban seized power in neighboring Afghanistan in August 2021, when the U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout from the country after 20 years.

This is the second time that TTP has announced a cease-fire, after 2021. That cease-fire ended in 2022. Since then, the Pakistani Taliban have stepped up attacks, straining ties between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban’s government as Islamabad says most of the TTP leaders are hiding in Afghanistan.

Pakistan also says TTP uses Afghan soil for attacks in Pakistan, a charge that TTP and Kabul deny.