How (and from where) did the Taliban acquire those “sophisticated weapons”?
“Afghanistan: Taliban Claims Control of Helmand District,” by Syed Saleem Shahzad for AKI, :
Karachi, 5 March (AKI) – (by Syed Saleem Shahzad) – At least 19 Afghan civilians have been killed over the past 24 hours in strikes and gunfire incidents by coalition forces in Afghanistan in response to militant attacks on NATO targets. Although NATO has said it is trying to reduce civilian casualties, the attacks look set to continue as the “spring offensive” materialises. Taliban commander Abdul Khaliq told Adnkronos International (AKI) that they have taken control of Nawzad district in Helmand province and prior to the recent attacks the Taliban distributed leaflets warning people to keep away from NATO installations or convoys.
In an interview with AKI, Taliban commander Abdul Khaliq said that with their recent seizure of the Nawzad district in the restive southern Afghan province of Helmand, their spring offensive had begun.
“There was a ceasefire in Nawzad district during the entire winter but we had taken control of all the villages and only the district headquarters was under the Karzai-backed administration, though it was also under siege by Taliban,” Abdul Khaliq told AKI in a phone interview from Nawzad district. “Last Thursday, we just announced that we would break the ceasefire and walked in the headquarters without much of a fight,” he said.
Over the weekend, the Afghan people were also warned by the militant group to be cautious and keep away from NATO installations.
Pamphlets were distributed all over Kandahar city by the Taliban in which people were warned to stay cautious as the Taliban would not spare any single movement of NATO troops on Afghan roads.
“We have acquired sophisticated weapons and now warn the people not to be within 100 meters on either side of any NATO installation or convoy because from now on everything will be immediate targets,” the pamphlet written in Pashto said.