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Security Experts: Taliban Likely to Increase Attacks During Ramadan

Photo taken on cellphone purports to show the destroyed vehicle in which Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour was traveling in the Ahmad Wal area in Baluchistan province of Pakistan, near Afghanistan's border, May 22, 2016.

The Taliban in Afghanistan is likely to increase attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in an effort to demonstrate that the recent death of the group's leader has not affected it in any way, Afghan security experts say.

Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan last week.

“In order to show the world that they are not dead, Taliban will surge their attacks in the month of Ramadan”, said retired Afghan National Security General Wahid Taqat. The Muslim holy month begins June 6.

Afghan security officials insist they are prepared for any increase in attacks during Ramadan or any other time.

“Afghan security forces are ready more than ever”, said Afghan National Security Council spokesperson Tawab Ghorzang.

Meanwhile, Afghan officials officials Sunday reported fierce fighting in southern Helmand province.

They say the hostilities erupted overnight after Taliban insurgents staged simultaneous attacks in three districts. Both sides claim to have inflicted heavy casualties on the other.

Afghan officials confirmed a senior police commander was also killed. Helmand is the largest Afghan province where the Taliban controls several districts.