Afghan forces plan counteroffensive against Taliban: adviser
Government forces plan a counteroffensive in Afghanistan's northern provinces after losing ground to the Taliban, Russia's RIA news agency quoted an adviser to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani as saying on Monday.
National security adviser Hamdullah Mohib, who was in Moscow on Monday for talks with senior security officials, told RIA in an interview that government forces had not expected the Taliban offensive but would "absolutely, definitely" counterattack.
Russia operates a military base in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic bordering Afghanistan, and has significant, widely criticised involvement in conflicts raging across the Middle East and North Africa.
Russia's foreign ministry said separately on Monday that the Russian consulate in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan was suspending its work because of security concerns, the TASS news agency reported.