Taliban begins spring offensive in Kabul: 28 dead, 300 injured
A potent Taliban suicide bombardment ripped through central Kabul, triggering a massive gunfire in a crowded neighbourhood. The attack came a week after Taliban declared their annual spring offensive. The Taliban took responsibility for the blast that killed 28 and wounded almost 300 others. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said their men had successfully entered the office of the National Directorate of Security.
The Taliban in Afghanistan announced the beginning of their fighting season or the 'spring offensive'. They vowed to take charge of more territory and start large-scale strikes against the Kabul government and its foreign partners, including the U.S. The Islamist movement said it had named the current fighting season "Operation Omari" in the honour of Mullah Mohammad Omar who died 2 years ago.
The announcement is an annual rite for Taliban and usually publicizes an escalation in violence. The proclamation of 'spring offensive' coincides with the start of spring, when snow melts and mountain passes open, permitting the group's fighters to travel more easily and launch offensives.
The state of Afghanistan is precarious as the civil strife between the Taliban and the Afghan government has now entered its 15th year. Despite global attempts, the violence shows no sign of dying down. The United Nations maintained that a record-breaking "11,000 civilians were wounded or killed in 2015". In 2015 alone, approximately 5,500 Afghan government troops and police officials were killed during fighting.
In reply to the announcement of 'spring offensive', Afghanistan's National Security Council adopted a five-year campaign plan for the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) to fight the Taliban.
Afghanistan presidential palace rebuked the offensive "in the strongest possible terms". Denouncing the attack, Afghan presidential palace said in a statement on Twitter: "Today's terrorist attack near Puli Mahmood Khan area of Kabul city demonstrates the clear defeat of the enemy in the face-to-face fight against Afghan security forces". The attack has raised the serious subject whether Afghan forces can defend themselves.