Eltaf Najafizada and James Rupert
May 12, 2011

Taliban attacks and warnings of a stepped-up offensive following the death of Osama bin Laden may damp U.S. hopes that the al-Qaeda leader’s death will encourage the militants to negotiate an end to the Afghanistan war.

Bin Laden’s “martyrdom” will give a “new impetus” to the Taliban’s fight, the movement said May 9 in a statement on the Ansar Al-Jihad website it uses for announcements. The declaration coincided with the group’s most ambitious attacks this year, including a two-day battle in Kandahar, the country’s second-biggest city, which killed 19 people.

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