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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid