Afghan president orders troops to switch to 'offensive' stance after attacks

Directive comes after nearly 40 people killed in two terror attacks earlier in the day


Reuters May 12, 2020
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Tuesday he was ordering the military to move to ‘offensive mode’, away from a defensive stance it had taken as part of efforts to reduce violence in the war-ravaged nation as Washington tries to broker peace talks.

“In order to provide security for public places and to thwart attacks and threats from the Taliban and other terrorist groups, I am ordering Afghan security forces to switch from an active defence mode to an offensive one and to start their operations against the enemies,” he said in a televised speech.

His comments came after a violent day in which gunmen killed 16 people at a maternity clinic in Kabul and more than 20 died in a suicide bomb attack at a funeral in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban have denied they were involved in the attacks.

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