Sunday, 16 June 2019
Latest news
Main » Dozens dead in Afghan conflicts, Taliban's spring offensive condemned

Dozens dead in Afghan conflicts, Taliban's spring offensive condemned

15 April 2019

Twenty-eight Taliban fighters were eliminated by the security forces and 10 more were wounded in clearance operations in the eastern Nangarhar province, the Defense Ministry added.

The attack began on Friday around 8 pm local time when suicide bombers detonated two trucks loaded with explosives against the administrative headquarters of Shirzad district and an adjacent security base, the provincial governor's spokesman Attaullah Khogyanai told EFE.

Kabul says the security plan, called Al-Khalid, followed recent Taliban attacks and aims at protecting government targets and Afghan civilians from such attacks.

U.S. officials have already met several times with the Taliban and further talks are expected in the Qatari capital Doha later this month.

As well as assurances that civilians would be protected, the Taleban called on Afghan government soldiers and police, who have been suffering thousands of casualties a month, to abandon their posts and join the insurgency.

The security official added that the Afghan forces maintained control over the checkpoint but one police officer had died during the clashes.

Nangarhar provincial governor spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said two Afghan troops had been killed, along with 27 Taliban fighters.

Trump has previously been on record expressing his wish to end the war that hit the Central Asian nation in 2001 and transformed into one of the most prolonged conflicts in U.S. history.

The Taliban ruled some three-quarters of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, before being ousted in a US-led invasion.

The Taliban on Friday announced a new spring offensive, alarming the United States negotiator who has been sitting with the militants to seek an end to more than 17 years of war. The US is hoping to seal a draft agreement on counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue, and a comprehensive ceasefire, before Afghan voters go to the polls in July.

The Taliban controls or contests about half of Afghan territory, according to USA military assessments.

The spring offensive traditionally marks the start of the so-called fighting season, though in reality fighting in the last winter has continued unabated.

"We also want to clarify that we are committed to the ongoing negotiations process and a peaceful resolution but can not remain indifferent to the military operations and ongoing crimes of the invaders and their internal supporters", Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

The Taliban have long refused to speak officially with Kabul, dubbing the government a "puppet" of the West, and the militants have insisted that government officials are attending only in a "personal capacity".

"Taliban peace interlocutors" names have been removed from the UN Security Council black list for nine months, the group's spokesman claimed on Friday.

Dozens dead in Afghan conflicts, Taliban's spring offensive condemned