Afghan Taliban warns 'spring offensive' near

| Thursday, May 8, 2014, 9:30 p.m.

KABUL, Afghanistan — After weeks of unusual lull, the Afghan Taliban said on Thursday that it will begin its annual “spring offensive” next week with deadly strikes on government facilities, NATO troops and Western contractors.

In a statement, the Taliban said the attacks would begin on Monday and continue into the summer as part of a final push to “completely cleanse” Afghanistan of foreign influence. The campaign will coincide with the pending second round of Afghanistan's presidential election.

“Like previous years, the main target of the current year's Jihadi operations shall be the foreign invaders and their backers under various names like spies, military and civilian contractors and everyone working for them, like translators, administrators and logistics personnel,” the statement said.

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