Activists go on hunger strike for ceasefire in Afghanistan

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Car bomb kills dozens in Afghan capital
Scene of the bomb blast in Kabul

(dpa/NAN) Activists are on hunger strike in Afghanistan after demands for a ceasefire due to a massive car bomb was ignored, said protesters on Thursday.

In response to the attack on March 23, that left 20 dead and 55 others injured, hundreds of people gathered to call for a ceasefire at the site of the explosion at a sports stadium in Lashkagah, the capital of the southern Helmand province.

“We have written to the government and called upon (the) Taliban for at least two days of ceasefire; actually we begged both sides, but we got no response from either of them,’’ said a student involved in the protest.

“We will not stop the hunger strike until we have a positive response,’’ said another protester.

How many of the protestors are on the hunger strike remained unclear.

Resistances against the Taliban and grassroots peace initiatives are rare in Afghanistan.

In a statement released on various channels on Wednesday, Taliban spokesperson Qari Yosuf Ahmadi told the protesters to demonstrate at U.S. bases instead of against the Taliban.

It was the U.S. who had caused the war in Afghanistan, said the statement.

Civilians continued to bear the brunt of the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s annual report, in 2017, at least 3,438 civilians were killed, and a further 7,015 injured in the conflict.

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