US

Afghan official says major offensive against IS underway

In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 photo, an Afghan soldier greeting to other soldier in Kabul-Jalalabad highway on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. After two years of heavy casualties, the Afghan military is trying to retake the initiative in the war against militants with a new offensive next week, an assault that will see American troops back working more closely with Afghan soldiers. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 photo, an Afghan soldier greeting to other soldier in Kabul-Jalalabad highway on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. After two years of heavy casualties, the Afghan military is trying to retake the initiative in the war against militants with a new offensive next week, an assault that will see American troops back working more closely with Afghan soldiers. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)  (The Associated Press)

An Afghan official says a military offensive has been launched against the Islamic State group in the country's far eastern region.

Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said on Tuesday that the offensive began over the weekend in Nangarhar province, bordering Pakistan.

It started hours after an IS suicide bomber killed at least 80 people who were taking part in a peaceful demonstration in Kabul on Saturday.

Waziri says President Ashraf Ghani gave the orders for the offensive. He says it will consist of airstrikes, ground attacks and clearing operations.

A U.S. military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland, says American forces have also been involved, conducting "multiple counter-terrorism strikes."

President Barack Obama recently expanded the conditions for U.S. troops in Afghanistan to support Afghan offensive operations.