KABUL, Afghanistan, May 7 (UPI) -- As many as nine Afghan troops and 11 others were injured during a suicide operation that was part of the Taliban's spring offensive, the group declared.
The Taliban last week announced the launch of its spring offensive, dubbed al-Farooq, hours after U.S. President Barack Obama left Afghanistan.
The militant group, in a statement, said its fighters, "armed with explosive vests, hand grenades and heavy and small arms" stormed government targets in Paktika province, killing "as many as 9 puppets" and injuring 11 others.
The Taliban launched its latest offensive after Obama signed a strategic partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The agreement spells out the U.S. military's role in Afghanistan after most international forces leave the country by 2014.
The 2014 deadline is when Afghan forces are expected to take responsibility over most security operations in the country. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, in an operational update, said an Afghan-led operation in Kandahar netted a Taliban suspect accused of trying to infiltrate the Afghan National Army.
A think-tank in Kabul last month accused international forces of overstating the ability of Afghan forces.