U.S. welcomes Taliban announcement of 3-day ceasefire -spokesman

FILE PHOTO: U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks at his first daily press briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S. February 2, 2021. Nicholas Kamm/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States welcomed the Taliban's announcement of a three-day ceasefire over this week's Eid holiday and urged it to extend the ceasefire as U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday.

The United States condemned an attack on a girls school in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Saturday, but was still looking into who was responsible for an attack, Price said, adding that Islamic State had been responsible for similar attacks.

The attack has raised fears of a deteriorating security situation ahead of President Joe Biden's Sept. 11 deadline for a drawdown of U.S. forces.

The Taliban has denied involvement in Saturday's attack.

"We call on the Taliban and Afghan leaders to engage seriously in the ongoing peace process to ensure the Afghan people enjoy a future free of terrorism and of senseless violence," Price said.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis; editing by Grant McCool)

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