Afghan forces plan counteroffensive in northern provinces, says adviser in Moscow

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Government forces plan a counteroffensive in Afghanistan’s northern provinces after losing ground to the Taliban, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted an adviser to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani as saying on Monday.

National security adviser Hamdullah Mohib, who was in Moscow on Monday for talks with senior security officials, told RIA in
an interview that government forces had not expected the Taliban offensive but would “absolutely, definitely” counterattack.

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Russia operates a military base in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic bordering Afghanistan.

Russia’s foreign ministry said separately on Monday that the Russian consulate in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in northern
Afghanistan was suspending its work because of security concerns, TASS news agency reported.

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