Accessibility links

Breaking News

Seventeen Killed on Eve of Afghan Taliban's Spring Offensive

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani prays during a memorial ceremony of a recent suicide attack in Jalalabad on April 23.

Taliban fighters killed nine border guards, and an additional eight Afghan civilians died in a roadside bombing hours before the official start of the Taliban's "spring offensive."

Afghan officials said that the border guards were killed April 22 when the Taliban stormed a police checkpoint in the northwestern Badghis Province.

Meanwhile, later that evening, a roadside bomb killed eight people, including four children, traveling in a vehicle in the Khash Rod district of southwestern Nimroz Province, according to Ahmad Arab, a spokesman for the provincial authorities.

Amir Mohammad Akhundzada, the governor of Nimroz Province, blamed the Taliban, saying that “the bomb had been planted to target Afghan security forces.” The Taliban has not claimed responsibility for the incident, but roadside bombs have been the Taliban’s weapon of choice.

The attacks came ahead of what Taliban leaders said would be the start of their annual spring offensive on April 24.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa