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‘Afghan forces plan counteroffensive in northern provinces’

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: Afghan National and Defense Forces plan a counteroffensive in Afghanistan’s northern provinces after losing ground to the Taliban, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted National Security Adviser to President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani as saying on Monday.

National security adviser Hamdullah Mohib, who was in Moscow on Monday for talks with senior security officials, told RIA in an interview that government forces had not expected the Taliban offensive but would “absolutely, definitely” counterattack.

Russia operates a military base in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic bordering Afghanistan, Reuters reported. Russia’s foreign ministry said separately on Monday that the Russian consulate in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan was suspending its work because of security concerns, TASS news agency reported.

This comes as Afghan forces pushed back Taliban fighters out of the center of 14 districts in last 24 hours.

The Ministry of Interior said the collapse of some districts was Taliban’s propaganda and that Afghan troops are present throughout Afghanistan. The ministry acknowledged that in some districts, Afghan troops have been relocated from one location to another to protect the lives of soldiers.

 

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