Taliban to build more institutions in Afghanistan, announces 'spring offensive'

On 13 April, the USA dropped one of its largest non-nuclear bombs known as the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) in on a tunnel complex used by so-called Islamic State militants in Achin District, eastern Afghanistan, the first ever to be used in battle.

It is also where the U.S. dropped one of its most powerful bombs earlier this month, killing close to 100 ISIS fighters, according to Afghan officials.

The action took place south of Nangarhar province, the same area where the USA military dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb to ever be used, on April 13.

US Forces-Afghanistan said the troops "came under attack during a raid against insurgents in Nangarhar province" late Wednesday.

Earlier this week, during a visit with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Nicholson said the ISIS had hoped to build a stronger network in Afghanistan but so far had failed.

The Taliban on Friday announced the start of their yearly rebel offensive in Afghanistan.

As Bowman told NPR's All Things Considered at the time, "There are now some 8,500 Americans in Afghanistan, and they have two jobs - training the Afghan forces and also going on combat missions with Afghan commandos, fighting ISIS and al-Qaida".

In addition to the Taliban, Afghanistan is battling an emerging local Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) affiliate known as Islamic State in Khorasan.

The attack also illustrated the troubles facing Afghan forces in containing the Taliban insurgency since most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops left in 2014, leaving a training and advisory mission.

Over the course of the US's longest war, the fight in Afghanistan has shifted.

The operations are now conducted under the name of Hamza operations by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces who are also receiving air support from the USA forces based in Afghanistan.

A United States military official said roughly 500 ISIS fighters had been killed so far this year, leaving just 800 in country.

The group said the "main focus" would be foreign forces, who would be targeted with a mix of conventional, guerrilla, insider and suicide attacks.

The U.S. and Afghan troops had flown in by helicopter then advanced on foot.

  • Leroy Wright