2 ALERTS  

Taliban launch spring offensive across Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban fighters opened their spring offensive in Afghanistan today with attacks in the east and south that killed at least 14 people, mostly police.

Insurgents stormed a government building in eastern Afghanistan after killing two police guards.

An attack on a checkpoint in the southern province of Helmand killed nine policemen.

The alliance says rockets hit the grounds of the Kabul international airport but caused no damage. And rockets struck the NATO base at Bagram, just north of the Afghan capital, causing minor damage.

Groups of militants, including some on motorbikes, attacked police checkpoints in the east, killing three people.

The Taliban offensive comes this year as Afghan officials prepare to announce the final results of the first round of voting in the presidential election. The two top vote-getters are widely expected to face a runoff later this month.

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