GLOBAL ECONOMY

Afghan Taliban announce 'spring offensive'

  • Afghans gather at the site of a roadside bomb explosion on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April 11, 2016. An Afghan official says at least one person has been killed when a bomb ripped through a bus carrying education ministry employees to work in the capital, Kabul. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

    Afghans gather at the site of a roadside bomb explosion on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April 11, 2016. An Afghan official says at least one person has been killed when a bomb ripped through a bus carrying education ministry employees to work in the capital, Kabul. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Monday, April 11, 2016. file, photo, Afghan women walk past a damaged bus after a roadside bomb explosion on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, The Afghan Taliban have announced the start of their warm-weather fighting season, an annual declaration that marks the launch of a summer of violence. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

    In this Monday, April 11, 2016. file, photo, Afghan women walk past a damaged bus after a roadside bomb explosion on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, The Afghan Taliban have announced the start of their warm-weather fighting season, an annual declaration that marks the launch of a summer of violence. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015 file photo, an Afghan man reads a local newspaper with photos of the new leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, center, and former leader Mullah Mohammad Omar who was declared dead, in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Afghan Taliban have announced the start of their warm-weather fighting season, an annual declaration that marks the launch of a summer of violence  (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

    FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015 file photo, an Afghan man reads a local newspaper with photos of the new leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, center, and former leader Mullah Mohammad Omar who was declared dead, in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Afghan Taliban have announced the start of their warm-weather fighting season, an annual declaration that marks the launch of a summer of violence (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Afghan Taliban have announced the start of their warm-weather fighting season, an annual declaration marking the launch of a violent summer.

In an email to media organizations Tuesday, the militants said the so-called "spring offensive" had begun at 5 a.m.

The campaign, expected this year to be long and bloody, is called "Operation Omari" in honor of Taliban founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar, who died three years ago, the announcement says.

It says waging jihad against the American invaders is a holy obligation. The war is in its 15th year.

The group has been riven by infighting since Mullah Omar's death became public last summer. New leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor had run the insurgency in his name for more than two years.

More than 11,000 civilians were killed in 2015.