17:36 GMT +320 November 2019
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    In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 photo, Afghan Taliban fighters listen to Mullah Mohammed Rasool, unseen, the newly-elected leader of a breakaway faction of the Taliban, in Farah province, Afghanistan

    Taliban Announces 'Spring Offensive' in Afghanistan

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    Taliban insurgents announced the start to the extremist group's annual so-called spring offensive in Afghanistan against US and Afghan security forces on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Taliban dubbed this year’s offensive "Operation Omari" in honor of Mullah Omar, the militant group’s leader whose 2013 death was acknowledged last summer. The campaign officially kicked off at 5 a.m. local time (00:30 GMT).

    The extremist group said that with the advent of spring it is time for them to renew their jihadi operations.

    The operation will employ large scale attacks on enemy positions across the country, martyrdom-seeking and tactical attacks against the Afghani government forces, assassination of "enemy" commanders in urban centers, the group announced.

    According to the statement, the present operation will also employ all means at the group's disposal to lower the morale of the foreign armed forces.

    US-led NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command mission in Afghanistan officially ended before the start of 2015. The current US plan is to end military presence in Afghanistan by December 2016, closing the remaining US bases in the country.

    Formed in the 1990s, the Taliban seeks to enforce Sharia law in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. The group is known for numerous terrorist attacks against authorities and civilians in both countries.

    Last year’s Taliban offensive concentrated in the northeastern province of Badakhshan and was estimated to kill over 11,000 civilians.

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    offensive, jihadism, Taliban, Afghanistan
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