Hundreds of Taliban fighters begin offensive near Afghan capital: officials

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 19, 2014 6:05 AM

LOGAR Afghanistan (Reuters) - Some 700 Taliban fighters armed with heavy machine guns are battling Afghan security forces in Logar province, just outside the capital Kabul, Afghan officials said on Tuesday.

"There are some 700 of them and they are fighting Afghan forces for territorial control and they have also brought with them makeshift mobile (health) clinics," Niaz Mohammad Amiri, the provincial governor of Logar, told Reuters by telephone.

No longer pinned down by U.S. air cover, Taliban fighters are attacking Afghan military posts in large numbers with aim of taking and holding ground, a shift from the hit-and-run strikes to posses of gunmen, explosives and suicide attacks.

(Reporting by Ahmad Sultan, Writing by Hamid Shalizi Editing by Jeremy Laurence)