Taliban forces attacked the northern Afghan city of Kunduz on Saturday, a day after the launch of their annual spring offensive, as fighting intensified across the country ahead of the next round of peace talks with US representatives.
Heavy fighting has been going on for weeks but the announcement of the spring offensive while peace talks were due was a blow to any hopes of a quick agreement and was criticized as “reckless” by US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement the movement was committed to the peace process but accused Afghan and international forces of stepping up their own operations.
“We are committed to the ongoing process of negotiation and peaceful resolution, but we cannot be unmoved in the face of military operations and the terrorist wave of occupiers and mercenaries,” Khalilzad said.
However, security officials in Kabul said that apart from the operation in Kunduz, Saturday’s attacks in 15 provinces across the country were limited in scope and had largely been contained.
“They engaged Afghan security forces to show their presence with the start of their spring offensive,” one senior official said. “But Afghan forces were on high alert across the country and therefore several attacks were pushed back.”
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر