The Taliban have rejected UN calls for peace during Ramadan, pointing out that jihad is a religious duty .
On Saturday, the first day of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, a Taliban suicide car bomber in the eastern city of Khost struck a convoy of an Afghan elite force providing security to American forces. The blast killed at least 18 personnel and wounded many others.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent greetings to the Muslims of the world that day, claiming that
Islam stresses the promotion of common values, the sharing of knowledge and dialogue, the advancement of social justice and peace.
The Secretary -General continued
At this time, my heart is also heavy for those observing Ramadan surrounded by conflict and tragedy. Peace and compassion should be on our minds during Ramadan and every day. This month, as I have done in the past, I will undertake a visit to a Muslim country to share my solidarity with those in need. I join together with everyone observing Ramadan to call for peace, compassion and an end to suffering.
The Taliban countered by killing nearly 100 people in the past week in southern Afghanistan.
Hours after staging the suicide car bombing in Khost, a Taliban spokesman [Zabihullah Mujahid] insisted it is fighting “jihad” (holy war) and is a religious obligation.
“Our fight is Jihad and an obligatory worship. And every obligatory act of worship has 70 times more reward in Ramadan.”