Afghan Taliban launch 'Spring Offensive', name it after slain chief Mullah Mansoor

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With "Operation Mansouri", named after the Taliban leader killed in a 2016 US drone strike, the Taliban apparently were looking to regain lost ground.

News of the planned tactics, released in an email statement by a Taliban spokesman, followed a Taliban attack on forces at an army base on April 21 that killed at least 140 soldiers.

The Taliban militants, who ruled the country before being ousted in late 2001, renewed armed insurgency, killing government troops as well as civilians.

"With the so-called fighting season imminent, I appeal to all parties to take every measure possible to prevent unnecessary and unacceptable harm to Afghan civilians", Tadamichi Yamamoto, special UN envoy and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said in a statement.

Their main focus is to target ISIS and Al-Qaida militants and the latest offensive could prove to be an impetus for deadly wars in future with Taliban on one side and USA troops on the other side of the divide.

The operation, which forced the defence minister and army chief of staff to resign, was a stark illustration of the struggle facing Western-backed Afghan forces in containing the Taliban insurgency since most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops left in 2014, leaving a smaller training and advisory mission.

Nicholson has called for thousands of additional troops to help prop up the Afghan military, which is struggling to hold off the Taliban and an array of other militant groups.

One dead, one in custody after stabbing at UT
In the April 28 attack, the assailant at Transylvania University asked about the political affiliations of people at the shop. This would have fell within timely warning because there was no ongoing threat. "He was always nice, had plenty of friends".

The bombing aimed to erode IS's capabilities in Afghanistan, but it was also seen as a warning to the much bigger Taliban group. So-called insider attacks - when Afghan soldiers and police turn their guns on their colleagues or on worldwide troops - have been a major problem during the war, which began in 2001.

Afghanistan's Interior Ministry shrugged off the Taliban threats Friday, saying the offensive was "not something new".

According to a United States government estimate in November 2016, the Afghan government had uncontested control of only 57% of the country - down from 72% a year earlier.

The attackers all carried valid passes to the base, security sources told AFP, and were dressed in Afghan army uniforms. They are largely conducting a training, advise and assist mission aimed at supporting Afghan forces.

Nicknamed "the mother of all bombs", the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb was dropped from an American MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, bordering Pakistan.

As well as the Taliban, Afghanistan is also battling an emerging local affiliate of the Islamic State group known as Islamic State in Khorasan, which is an ancient name for a region that once included Afghanistan, Iran and parts of Central Asia. The target was IS hideouts in the Achin district of Nangarhar province.

Navy Lt. Chris Donlon, a spokesman for USA forces in Afghanistan confirmed that the incident happened close to Achin and near where US aircraft dropped a massive 22,000-pound bomb, called a GBU-43, two weeks ago.