Afghan officials warn of insurgent influx from Pakistan

Afghan officials on Wednesday warned of an influx of insurgents from neighbouring Pakistan into northern Afghanistan in an attempt to destabilize what has mostly been a peaceful part of the country.

KABUL — Afghan officials on Wednesday warned of an influx of insurgents from neighbouring Pakistan into northern Afghanistan in an attempt to destabilize what has mostly been a peaceful part of the country.

The “terrorists” are coming from Pakistan, including foreign fighters — such as Chechens and Uzbeks — from other regional countries, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.

Sediqqi said the insurgents are flooding into the northern Kunduz province, where the Taliban launched a major push over the weekend, closing in on the provincial capital, also called Kunduz.

The attack came just after the Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive. Kabul has sent in reinforcements to the area this week.

Around 200 militants have been killed so far in Kunduz, Sediqqi said, adding that 12 Afghan soldiers have also died in the fighting. The insurgents were hiding in civilian homes in the villages, he added, and the troops were trying to be “careful to avoid civilian casualties.”

“The Taliban and the terrorists will not succeed in creating bases or a long-term threat in the northern part of the country,” Sediqqi told reporters in Kabul. He said several operations are underway in Kunduz, Baghlan and Badakhshan provinces, where Afghan forces far outnumbered militants.

Gen. Dawlat Waziri, the Defence Ministry’s deputy spokesman, said the Afghan forces are battling in Kunduz on their own and have not requested any backup from international forces. This year’s fighting season will be a major test for the Afghan forces, following the pullout at the end of last year of all foreign combat troops.

The Kabul government, which has been fighting the Taliban for more than a decade, has often accused Islamabad of not doing enough to prevent cross-border attacks and of providing safe haven for the Taliban, whose leadership is believed to be based in Pakistani cities including Quetta and Peshawar.

Pakistan has denied the charges and last June, launched a major operation against militants in North Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan. The operation has driven many anti-government fighters over the border into Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, a roadside bomb in eastern Khost province late Tuesday killed four people, including two policemen, according to the provincial governor’s office. Four other civilians were wounded in the blast in the Dowamanda district.

Just Posted

‘Nothing apparent:’ Dad accused in son’s meningitis death says no obvious signs

LETHBRIDGE — A father accused in his son’s death testified Monday that… Continue reading

Opera star Measha Brueggergosman recovering from double bypass surgery

CALGARY — Canadian opera star Measha Brueggergosman is recovering from heart surgery,… Continue reading

Who you gonna call? Alberta rattlesnake wrangler keeps serpents, citizens safe

LETHBRIDGE — One rattlesnake got caught in freshly laid tar under someone’s… Continue reading

Alberta government, Opposition swap accusations, attacks in earplug debate

EDMONTON — Alberta’s earplug debate got louder Monday as the Opposition NDP… Continue reading

‘Clients fall off:’ Calgary program helps recently released prisoners with hep C

CALGARY — Imagine adjusting to life after serving prison time, then add… Continue reading

WATCH: Hundreds run in the 5K Foam Fest in Red Deer

The annual event took place at Heritage Ranch on Saturday

Alberta government, Opposition swap accusations, attacks in earplug debate

EDMONTON — Alberta’s earplug debate got louder Monday as the Opposition NDP… Continue reading

‘Clients fall off:’ Calgary program helps recently released prisoners with hep C

CALGARY — Imagine adjusting to life after serving prison time, then add… Continue reading

Opera star Measha Brueggergosman recovering from double bypass surgery

CALGARY — Canadian opera star Measha Brueggergosman is recovering from heart surgery,… Continue reading

Who you gonna call? Alberta rattlesnake wrangler keeps serpents, citizens safe

LETHBRIDGE — One rattlesnake got caught in freshly laid tar under someone’s… Continue reading

‘Nothing apparent:’ Dad accused in son’s meningitis death says no obvious signs

LETHBRIDGE — A father accused in his son’s death testified Monday that… Continue reading

Second Banff grizzly dies after being struck by vehicle: Parks Canada

Second Banff grizzly dies after being struck by vehicle: Parks Canada BANFF… Continue reading

Canada and U.S. agree to expand preclearance options for travellers, goods

OTTAWA — A new agreement between Canada and the United States will… Continue reading

Top B.C. court upholds ruling that struck down Canada’s solitary confinement law

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s top court has upheld a lower court ruling… Continue reading

Most Read