Taliban declare start of spring offensive

May 2, 2012 at 3:56 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, May 2 (UPI) -- It is the Islamic duty of Afghans recruited into a spring offensive to kill "foreign occupiers" as punishment for their illegal actions, the Taliban said.

The Taliban, in a statement, announced they would launch a spring offensive called al-Farooq, a title bestowed upon an adviser to the Islamic Prophet Mohammed and the name of an alleged al-Qaida training camp in Kandahar.

"It must be stated that the primary target of al-Farooq operation will be the foreign invaders, their advisers, their contractors and members of all associated military, intelligence and auxiliary departments … (and) the high ranking officials of the stooge Kabul regime," the statement read.

The Taliban said it was the Islamic duty of Afghans to take up arms against "foreign occupiers." It added that it launched a recruitment campaign for those who want to join its ranks.

"In this battle of truth and falsehood, victory and ascendency shall be awarded to the mujahedin while defeat and humiliation shall be the fate of your moral-lacking soldiers, if Allah wills it," the Taliban statement read.

The statement followed a car bomb and suicide attack on Kabul that left eight dead and 11 civilians injured. The blast occurred shortly after U.S. President Barack Obama left the country after signing a strategic partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"The goal that I set -- to defeat al-Qaida and deny it a chance to rebuild -- is now within our reach," Obama said in a televised address from a military base near Kabul.

The agreement outlines the strategic relationship beyond 2014, when international forces are to leave Afghanistan.

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