World Media

Taliban announce spring offensive, angering United States amid peace push

Taliban announce spring offensive, angering United States amid peace push

The call for more fighting will not advance peace efforts.

In the western province of Ghor, at least seven members of Afghan security forces were killed in a Taliban ambush, the provincial governor's spokesman, Abdul Hai Khatibi, said.

Wounded Afghan men receive treatment at a hospital one day after the start of the Taliban spring offensive, in Kunduz province, Afghanistan April 13, 2019.

In Kunduz, the strategic city which briefly fell to the Taliban in 2015, fighters attacked from several directions in the early hours of the morning, causing heavy casualties, the provincial governor's spokesman Enhamuddin Rahmani said.

United States officials have already met several times with the Taliban and further talks are expected in the Qatari capital Doha later this month. "If executed, it will only yield more suffering and thousands more causalities".

A spokesman of the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, Dave Butler, said the coalition forces will continue to support the Afghan forces in the fight against the Taliban as the group has chosen violence despite an "amazing" opportunity forces.

A clash between government forces and the Taliban outfit in Baghlan's neighboring Samangan province has also left three local policemen dead and six others injured, Raz Mohammad Moahidi, deputy to provincial council, said.

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According to Dawn news reports, Pompeo's remarks have come during a two-day congressional hearing on the USA state department's proposal of a budget this week.

"Through this announcement, Taliban leaders demonstrate their indifference to the demands of Afghans across the country".

Most recently, the Taliban announced the launch of their annual spring offensive, warning that the fighting will continue as long as foreign forces remained in Afghanistan.

The statement says that by announcing offensives, the Taliban has often targeted "innocent people in Afghanistan" while they have been dictated by "strangers" and that they have used civilian houses as a shield.

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

The United States is leading a push to forge a settlement with the Taliban, after almost 18 years of war, and has held several meetings with Taliban officials. "We assemble the Resolute Support leadership together and Gen. Miller said the Taliban have made it clear that they have ignored the will of the people and have guaranteed more violence", Butler said.

Mr Khalilzad leads the U.S. team in talks with the Taliban that are held in Doha, Qatar, with Pakistan's support, which responded positively to a U.S. request to facilitate the talks.


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