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Terrorism & Security

Taliban announce 'countersurge' in Afghanistan

The militants have vowed to launch a new offensive against US and its allies, which are preparing to increase troop levels.

By Anand Gopal / April 30, 2009

US soldiers and Afghan police take up a position on the roof of a mud house west of Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday.

Rafiq Maqbool/AP

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The Taliban have vowed to launch a new offensive this summer in Afghanistan against the government and the foreign soldiers stationed there. The news comes as the United States and its allies plan to increase their troop presence to counter the growing Taliban threat.

A wave of suicide attacks and ambushes will start Thursday, according to the Taliban website, al Emerah.

Since America and NATO have resolved to send extra troops to Afghanistan, therefore, the Afghans too in response feel the need to start rapid and strong operations, as part of their struggle, to defend themselves and to free the country…
The targets of these operations will be the military units of the invading forces, diplomatic centers, mobile convoys, high-ranking officials of the puppet administration.

The Guardian reports that the insurgents have the potential to make good on their promise.

A western security official said the statement should be taken seriously as the Taliban have previously lived up to their often bold statements of intent, including their past promises to attack roads and encircle Kabul.
"They said they would launch operations in the north of Afghanistan this year and that's exactly what they have done," he said.
"There is no doubt that they can counter-surge if they want to – if they choose to consolidate themselves in Pakistan."

Fighting has been intense across the country. The US claims to have killed up to 42 insurgents in various battles on Wednesday. Meanwhile, nine German soldiers were injured and one killed in a pair of attacks on Wednesday in the north of the country. Earlier this week a British soldier was killed in an explosion. The website iCasualties.org, which tracks troop fatalities, reports that 90 foreign soldiers have been killed so far this year, a 67 percent increase from the same period last year.

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