Taliban announce spring offensive 1 week after Afghanistan massacre

US Marines return to Afghanistan’s Helmand province for first time since 2014

The incident took place in Nangahar's Achin district near a site where the USA military unleashed a massive 22,000-pound bomb this month, a sign of the scale of the ongoing conflict almost 16 years after US troops arrived in Afghanistan.

During a Monday news conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Nicholson said ISIS is attempting to establish a presence in Afghanistan, and the MOAB bomb was meant to send "a very clear message" to the group. The US counterterrorism mission is separate from the NATO-led effort to train, advise and assist the Afghan army and police force in its fight against the Taliban.

Afghan and worldwide officials have repeatedly called on the Taliban to disarm and join the political process, a call they have so far refused.

In February, Army General John Nicholson, the US commander in Afghanistan, said he needs several thousand more worldwide troops to break a stalemate with the Taliban.

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". They were on their third deployment to Afghanistan. Davis says the United States is still gathering details on Wednesday's incident.

The report said that as of March this year, 210 children had been killed - up 17 percent from the same period last year.

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The report accused anti-government elements, without specifying Taliban or the Islamic State group, of intentionally targeting civilians.

Taliban who is now waging war within Afghanistan recently announced the start of the spring offensive and have promised that they would build their political base in the country and would build more institutions in the country.

Bullet holes are seen on the wall of a mosque at the military headquarters where the Taliban attack occurred last week in Mazar-i-Sharif, northern Afghanistan April 25, 2017.

The US Department of Defense confirmed that two military members died and one was injured fighting Daesh-Khorasan, the local affiliate of the terror group (banned in Russia) in Afghanistan on Thursday.

Eighteen ISIS fighters were killed in what was described as a "gunfight", according to Fox News.

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