A Taliban leader has instructed fighters in Afghanistan to target U.S. and other coalition troops in response to the United States sending more troops into the war.
A two-page statement sent to CNN instructs fighters to start new attacks against coalition troops and Afghan parliament members, and urges suicide bombers to strike. The statement was written by Mula Birather, a Taliban chief of at least 12 military groups in Afghanistan. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed to CNN that the statement came from Birather. The statement also warned Afghans to not get “near U.S. troops anywhere because we will target them any where they are and if anybody is killed in a attack on them we will not be responsible for their death.” The statement comes as U.S. troops begin increased deployments in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama approved sending 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in March and pledged to send 17,000 more. Col. Greg Julian, a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, responded to the statement.
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“The Taliban extremists are promising to bring more death and destruction to Afghanistan and limit the freedom of movement of all Afghans,” Julian said.
“They offer no hope for the future, and only seek to kill… We will continue working side-by-side with our Afghan partners to improve security and demonstrate to these ruthless murders and criminals that they will not stop progress in Afghanistan.” Meanwhile across the border in Pakistan, the country’s military intensified its drive against the Taliban in the country’s restive tribal regions, reclaiming a key town in the northwest district of Buner.