Taliban announce 'spring offensive' across Afghanistan

By AFP
Published: May 2, 2012

Code-named Al-Farouq, primary targets of offensive will be "foreign invaders, their advisors, their contractors". PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KABUL: The Taliban militia announced they would launch their annual “spring offensive” across Afghanistan on Thursday, threatening to target US-led NATO troops and their allies with renewed vigour.

Code-named Al-Farouq, the primary targets of the offensive would be “foreign invaders, their advisors, their contractors, all those who help them militarily and in intelligence,” the militants said on their website.

“Al-Farouq spring offensive will be launched on May 3 all over Afghanistan,” the militant group said.

The militia said the code name came from Islam’s second caliph, Omar Al-Farouq known for his military advances in Asia and the Arab world during the 7th century.

The announcement came hours after Taliban insurgents armed with guns, suicide vests and a bomb-laden car attacked a heavily fortified compound used by Westerners in Kabul, killing seven people and wounding more than a dozen others.

The militants claimed the attack in defiance of US President Barack Obama’s call that the war was ending during a visit to Afghanistan on the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death on Wednesday.

Obama flew into Kabul in secret in the dead of night and signed a deal with President Hamid Karzai, cementing 10 years of US aid for Afghanistan after NATO combat troops leave in 2014.

The rebel group said it will adopt new tactics to “safeguard” civilians as part of the new offensive.

“New and tested war tactics will be implemented in the Al-Farouq operation and top priority will be given to safeguarding the lives and wealth of civilians,” the statement said.

The United Nations said civilian deaths from the Afghan conflict reached a record high of 3,021 in 2011 – mostly at the hands of insurgents – up eight percent from 2,790 in 2010.

The militants also said a committee will be assigned to “invite” members of the Afghan security forces to join their insurgency, which is now into an 11th year.

Just over two weeks ago, squads of militants targeted government offices, embassies and foreign bases in the biggest coordinated attack in Kabul during more than 10 years of war since the Taliban were driven from power for refusing to hand over bin Laden.

A Pentagon report issued Tuesday said that insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan and corruption pose “long-term and acute challenges”.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Bhindian
    May 2, 2012 - 5:45PM

    “A Pentagon report issued Tuesday said that insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan and corruption pose “long-term and acute challenges”.

    Sure, the whole insurgency is being run from Pakistan right? what a bunch of jokers

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  • abbas
    May 2, 2012 - 6:40PM

    @Bhindian – Just ignore them my friend. Biggest mistake was to listen to them.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    May 2, 2012 - 7:25PM

    The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and wanted to show Obama that he and the U.S. forces were not welcomed in Afghanistan and that they would continue their resistance until all the occupiers were either beaten or forced to leave their country.

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  • m.b.f.h
    May 2, 2012 - 10:51PM

    They want the full fury of Drones Strikes, didn't get enough I guess. Taliban supporters have blood on their hands of all the victims of Taliban violence. Every time there is bombing or bloodshed, think of the supporter Sitting Next to you with friendly face and voice.

    Yes, it’s their innocent support whats keeping Taliban bombing innocents & their protectors..

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  • Pollack
    May 3, 2012 - 7:43AM

    Fashion designers announce spring collection and Taliban announces spring offensive. :-)

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  • Realist
    May 3, 2012 - 10:44AM

    Good luck and happy hunting!

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  • Tim Paterson
    May 3, 2012 - 5:20PM

    if talibans announced spring offensive, US and NATO forces should announce spring break yoo hoo…….

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