Taliban launches annual offensive in Afghanistan

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Kabul, April 28 (IANS) The Taliban on Friday announced the start of their annual rebel offensive in Afghanistan, a media report said.

The Taliban have code-named the offensive “Operation Mansoori”, after their leader Mohammad Akhtar Mansoor, killed in a US drone strike along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in 2016, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Taliban ruled the country before being ousted in late 2001.

The rebels urged civilians to stay away from official gatherings, military convoys and centres regarded as legitimate targets besides warning people not to support the government.

Around 13,000 foreign troops remain in Afghanistan to train and assist the Afghan forces.

On Thursday, the UN urged the warring sides in Afghanistan to take further measures for better protection of civilians from conflicts.

About 715 civilians were killed and over 1,460 others injured in conflict-related incidents across Afghanistan in the first three months of the year, according to figures released by the UN mission in the country.

–IANS

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