Afghan Officials: Taliban Attacks Kill 11 Troops, Policemen

Afghanisthan,Kabul suicide bombing at voter registration centre claims 31 lives

Operation Al Khandaq - named after a famous seventh century battle in Medina in which Muslim fighters defeated "infidel" invaders - will target USA forces and "their intelligence agents" as well as their "internal supporters", a Taliban statement said.

The Taliban on Wednesday announced the start of the new spring offensive, rejecting a proposal for dialogue from the Afghan government, describing it as an attempt to "cheat and conspire".

Al Khandaq will mainly focus on "crushing, killing and capturing American invaders and their supporters", it added.

Western and Afghan experts said the Taliban announcement was an apparent rejection of the offer and heralded more intense fighting in the drawn-out war.

Defense ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish dismissed the Taliban announcement as "propaganda".

"We hold meetings with security force nearly every day and they have assured us that they will provide security for all voter registration centres", Jalali told AFP.

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They (the government) should be keeping the country safe. "They will try to derail the election process", the Kabul University professor told AFP.

A suicide bombing by the Islamic State group targeted a voter registration center in Kabul on Sunday, killing 57, and on Monday, Taliban attacks in western Afghanistan killed 18 soldiers and policemen, underscoring the struggles the government faces to rein in militant assaults. The last major attack in Kabul was on March 2, which was also carried out by an IS suicide bomber who blew himself up in a crowd celebrating the Persian New Year holiday and killed at least 33 people.

Afghanistan will hold parliamentary elections in October.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taleban spokesman, claimed responsibility for both the Farah and the Ghazni attacks in messages to the media.

Earlier yesterday, insurgents killed at least four members of the local police force and wounded seven in eastern Ghazni province.

The Taliban insurgents, according to the official, attacked security checkpoints in Qayaq village of Jaghato district at 05:30 a.m. local time, triggering heavy gun battle. The first of today's near-simultaneous attacks in western Badghis province hit army units in the district of Ab Kamari, killing nine soldiers, said Ghulam Sarwar Haidari, the deputy provincial police chief.

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