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Truck bombs: Taliban claim attack as spring offensive begins
15 April 2019, 01:27 | Glen Norman
AFP 2019 Wakil KOHSARTaliban Claims It Fired Deadly Missile at Largest US Air Base in Afghanistan
Taleban fighters mounted a big attack in eastern Afghanistan on Friday (April 12) heralding the start of a spring offensive despite ongoing preparations for another round of peace talks.
The Taliban takeover of Kunduz in 2015 shocked observers, and marked the first time since their ouster in 2001 that they had been able to conquer a major city.
"Through this announcement, Taliban leaders demonstrate their indifference to the demands of Afghans across the country".
"Our jihadi obligation has not yet ended", the Taliban said.
USA special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Saturday urged all Afghans, including the Taliban, to work on a roadmap to end the Afghan war this year.
More than 2 dozen militants were injured, said the statement cited by Xinhua news agency.
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"Taliban's push to continue war and corruption in Afghanistan is happening at a time that the country's and the world's religious scholars have called Taliban's fight against the people of Afghanistan an "evil", not Jihad", the statement said.
He said that the killing of Afghans must stop. After condemning the announcement, Mr Khalilzad "Pakistan, Qatar, and other nations that want peace in Afghanistan to do the same".
After suffering horrific bloodshed in 2018, Kabul has in recent weeks enjoyed something of a lull in violence. Everyone at the Taliban's office in Qatar is removed from the list, and indications are everyone else involved in United States talks has been as well.
On Friday, the Taliban launched the annual spring offensives with the declared intention of overrunning large areas, including townships.
It shows "the enemy still seeks to attain its malicious objectives through the use of force", the Taliban said.
The spokesman refrained from revealing casualties on the side of security personnel in the fighting.
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"The Taliban will not reach their vicious goals and their operations will be defeated like previous years", Mangal 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.
He predicted "intense" fighting for 2019, with the renewed bloodshed taking a toll on civilians.
The Taliban, who frequently exaggerate numbers, claimed to have killed or wounded "more than 200 soldiers, police and militias".
Fed up with the $45 billion annual price tag and what his military leaders termed a "stalemate", US President Donald Trump past year made a decision to slash the number of American soldiers in Afghanistan.
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.
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The Taliban now hold sway over half the country after a relentless 17-year war, America's longest.
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