Taliban announces start of spring offensive in Afghanistan

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AFGHANISTAN (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The Taliban launched its annual offensive in the spring on Friday and called on Afghan army and police forces to give up the government in a statement referring to more violence before peace negotiations with Washington yielded any results.

Fighting has intensified throughout Afghanistan in the past few weeks, killing and wounding hundreds of Afghan and civilian forces, making the Taliban’s announcement of the “conquest” largely symbolic. The Afghan government also launched a process called “Khaled” in March.

But after several rounds of negotiations between the United States and Taliban representatives in recent months, Afghanistan has been far from achieving peace, more than 17 years after the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001 by US-led forces.

The Taliban statement said that the goal of the opening process would be “to eliminate the occupation and to cleanse our Muslim country from invasion and corruption and to establish an Islamic regime and at the same time defend and serve our compatriots.”

“Despite the liberation of large parts of our country from the enemy, foreign occupation forces continue to exert military and political influence in our Muslim country,” the statement said.

In addition to reassuring civilians about their protection, the statement called on army and police forces, which suffer thousands of casualties monthly, to leave their positions and join the Taliban operations.

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