Afgan Taliban declares start to spring offensive

KABUL - The Taliban declared the start of a spring offensive on Saturday, warning they planned to target foreign troops in Afghanistan as well as Afghan security forces and government officials in a wave of attacks across the country.
In a statement, the hard-line Islamists warned Afghan civilians to stay away from public gatherings, military bases and convoys, as well as Afghan government centers, as these would be the focus of attacks.
The Taliban statement comes a day after senior military officials and Western diplomats warned they expected a surge in militant attacks around the country over the next week.
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