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Taliban Declares Start Of Spring Offensive

Taliban militants in Afghanistan have declared the start of their annual spring offensive, saying they will carry out attacks nationwide as foreign troops prepare to withdraw.

In a statement released on April 27, the insurgent group pledged to carry out suicide bombings, “insider attacks” by Afghan soldiers, and assaults on international airbases and diplomatic buildings.

The statement warned civilians to stay away from official gatherings and to avoid joining the police or army forces.

The announcement comes as Afghan security forces are preparing to assume control of the 12-year-battle against the Taliban militia, with NATO troops set to end their operations next year.

The handover comes as Afghan NGOs say attacks by the Taliban and other insurgents are on the rise since last year.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters