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Taliban Launch Multi-Pronged Attack on Northern Afghan City

Taliban Launch Multi-Pronged Attack on Northern Afghan City

"If executed, it will only yield more suffering and thousands of more casualties", he said, adding that "a call for fighting suggests the Taliban are stuck in the ways of the past".

According to Afghan officials, Taliban fighters on Friday night detonated two truck bombs in the Shirzad district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul.

Afghan security forces have killed a total of 128 members of the Taliban movement and wounded 40 more in the north, northeast and east of the country, the Afghan Defense Ministry, Interior Ministry and the National Directorate of Security said on Sunday.

At least six people have been killed and more than 50 wounded in Afghanistan's northern city of Kunduz in an assault by Taliban fighters, according to a local official.

Peace talks with the Taliban kicked off previous year, as US President Donald Trump vowed to reduce the number of US troops in Afghanistan.

Friday's announcement instructs the Taliban mujahideen, or holy warriors, to "launch jihadi operations with sincerity and pure intentions", strictly abiding by the Taliban command structure.

The spike in violence came a day after the Taliban announced their annual spring offensive, dealing a blow to expectations of a USA -led dialogue with the insurgent group to find a political end to the 18-year-old Afghan war and a reduction in violence during this year's fighting season.

Ambassador Khalilzad, who leads the United States delegation in these talks, welcomed this concession but strongly condemned the Taliban decision to launch a spring offensive as "reckless".

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The Taliban, which frequently exaggerates numbers, claimed to have killed or wounded "more than 200 soldiers, police and militias".

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's palace on Saturday condemned "in the strongest words" the announcement of Operation Fath.

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.

It comes as Washington has been holding several rounds of talks with the Taliban to put an end to 17 years of violence, the longest war ever waged by the US.

"We will support the Afghan security forces as they fight to protect the people, we will support the Afghan security forces as they fight the Taliban", he said.

Later this month, Taliban officials are expected to meet with Afghanistan representatives, including some officials from the Kabul government, in the Qatari capital Doha.

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


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