by Abdul Haleem, Omid Jawed
KABUL, July 6 (Xinhua) -- All the big mosques and nearby grounds were packed with faithful Muslims in the capital city of Kabul and other major cities on Wednesday offering Eid al-Fitr prayers to mark the end of Ramadan and pray for the returning of lasting peace in the war-wrecked country of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has suffered enormously due to the ongoing military over the past decade and a half and during Ramadan in particular several deadly bombings, including two suicide attacks in the capital city of Kabul, claimed more than 50 lives including 32 police cadets and 12 Nepalese citizens.
Both Taliban militants and fighters loyal to the so-called Islamic State group have intensified activities since the beginning of this year, which have left hundreds of people, mostly innocent civilians, dead.
"Oh Almighty Allah, enough is enough, we are fed up with war, we the Afghans are in urgent need of peace and therefore are bowing before You to pardon our sins and grant us lasting peace," a prayer leader humbly said in a Kabul mosque after offering Eid prayers.
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in his short speech to welcome Eid to his countrymen praised the security forces for ensuring security during Eid days and also begged Almighty Allah to grant lasting peace and prosperity to Afghans.
To prevent any possible terrorist attack during the Eid holiday, the government has deployed police personnel around the mosques and sensitive areas in Kabul and other cities to enable people to celebrate Eid festivals in a peaceful environment.
Taliban militants who have been fighting to regain power have spared no efforts, however, to destabilize peace in Afghanistan even during Eid days, according to the war-weary Afghans.
Recalling the armed outfit's ceaseless brutalities, a Kabul resident Mohammad Dawood told Xinhua that the Taliban, by organizing a suicide attack outside a mosque on an Eid day in the Faryab provincial capital of Maimana a couple of years ago, had killed 41 people and injured more than 50 others.
The new Taliban leader, Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, in his message to congratulate Eid al-Fitr to Afghans vowed to continue the violent course of action of his predecessors Mullah Mohammad Omar and Mawlawi Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor, which means more bloodshed.
Afghans have offered their Eid prayers in Kabul and other cities amid tight security and so far no security incidents has been reported.
"Thank God that we have offered our Eid prayers in a peaceful environment and I am hopeful that the security situation will improve with each passing day from now on," Wazir Gul, 37, told Xinhua.
In his wheelchair outside a mosque, the disabled but grateful Gul explained how the war had crippled him and how he hopes his children and fellow Afghans will be able to embrace a future free of war and threats of violence.
Another Afghan, Hajji Mohammad Naeem, 65, who offered his Eid prayer in a mosque in downtown Kabul, wished for the return of enduring peace in his country.
"Peace is everything for us, because having peace will facilitate the rebuilding of our battered country, revive our economy and improve the living conditions for us, our children and many generations to come."