Taliban declare start of spring offensive

Islamabad: The Taliban on Saturday announced the start of a spring offensive warning they planned to target foreign troops in Afghanistan, Afghan security forces, key politicians, government officials and even members of the High Peace Council, across the country.

In a statement sent by email, Taliban warned Afghan civilians to stay away from public gatherings, military bases and convoys, as well as Afghan government centres, as these would be the focus of attacks.

The statement comes a day after senior military officials and Western diplomats warned they expected a surge in militant attacks over the next week.

The details of the Taliban offensive called `Badar" was released by their spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid.

He said the focus will be on attacks against military centres, places of gatherings, airbases, ammunition and logistical military convoys of the foreign invaders in all parts of the country.

The statement made no mention of any peace talks with the Afghan government and said it will also target the newly formed Peace Council as it consideres them as enemies.