News / Asia

Taliban Vow Suicide, 'Insider' Attacks in New Spring Offensive

NATO and Afghan troops arrive at the site of a suicide attack in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, March 26, 2013.
NATO and Afghan troops arrive at the site of a suicide attack in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, March 26, 2013.
Reuters
The Taliban in Afghanistan vowed on Saturday to start a new campaign of mass suicide attacks on foreign military bases and diplomatic areas, as well as damaging "insider attacks," as part of a new spring offensive this year.
    
The offensive was announced via emails from Taliban spokesmen. The Islamist group has made similar announcements in recent years, which have sometimes been followed by spikes in violence after Afghanistan's harsh winter months.
    
The announcement of more mass suicide and insider attacks will likely be greeted with concern by the NATO-led military coalition, which is in the final stages of a fight against the Taliban-led insurgency that began in late 2001.
    
However, there was no immediate reaction to the Taliban's statement from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
    
After announcing their spring offensive last year, the Taliban launched a large attack in Kabul involving suicide bombers and an 18-hour firefight targeting Western embassies, ISAF headquarters and the Afghan parliament.
    
The start of the traditional "fighting season" is particularly important this year, with ISAF increasing the rate at which it hands security responsibility to Afghan forces before the withdrawal of most foreign troops by the end of 2014.
    
The Taliban statement said this year's offensive, named after Khalid bin Waleed, one of the companions of the Islamic prophet Mohammad, will involve "special military tactics" similar to those carried out previously.
    
"Collective martyrdom operations on bases of foreign invaders, their diplomatic centers and military airbases will be even further structured while every possible tactic will be utilized in order to detain or inflict heavy casualties on the foreign transgressors," the statement said.
    
Insider attacks, also known as "green on blue" attacks, involve Afghan police or soldiers turning their guns on their ISAF trainers and counterparts. They have grown considerably since last year and have strained relations between Kabul and foreign forces.
    
However, there is considerable debate over how many can be attributed to infiltration by insurgents and how many are by disgruntled members of the Afghan security forces.
    
Last August, then ISAF commander, U.S. General John Allen, said about a quarter of such attacks involved the Taliban.
    
The spring offensive was coordinated to begin on April 28 to coincide with a national holiday to mark the overthrow of the Soviet-backed government of Mohammad Najibullah in 1992, the statement said.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid