The city of Kabul can be seen at sundown from the rear deck of a U.S. Army helicopter as it departs Resolute Support headquarters with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis aboard in Kabul, Afghanistan April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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The Afghan Taliban launched their "spring offensive" Friday, heralding fresh fighting in the drawn-out conflict as embattled security forces struggle to recover from a devastating attack on a military base one week ago.The assault last Friday, in which militants dressed in Afghan army uniforms and with valid passes to the installation slaughtered at least 135 young recruits, is believed to be the deadliest by the Taliban on an Afghan military target.Afghan forces saw soaring casualties in 2016, up by 35 percent with 6,800 soldiers and police killed, according to a U.S. watchdog.The Afghan conflict is the longest in U.S. history -- U.S.-led NATO troops have been at war there since 2001, after the ousting of the Taliban regime for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks in the United States.Two U.S. troops were killed Wednesday and one was wounded while fighting ISIS militants near where the bomb was dropped, the Pentagon has said.
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