Lashkar Gah — Afghan security forces fought back a major Taliban offensive in southern Helmand province in the past 24 hours, officials and residents said on Tuesday, as militants launched assaults around the country as US withdraws troops ahead of a September 11 deadline.

Though the US did not meet a May 1 withdrawal deadline agreed in talks with the Taliban in 2020, its withdrawal has begun, with President Joe Biden announcing all troops will be out by September 11. Critics of the decision to withdraw say the Islamist militants will try to sweep back into power...

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