Afghan forces recapture key district from Taliban

Afghan forces take control of Chardara in northern province of Kunduz, which Taliban seized over weekend

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Afghan government forces regained control and drove the Taliban back from a key district near the northern city of Kunduz on Tuesday, two days after militants captured it.

Strategic Chardara district recaptured by the government forces as "new reinforcements arrived in Kunduz from northern provinces,"  provincial police chief Abdul Saboor Nasrati said.

Controlling the Chardara, Taliban fighters were just a few kilometres away from the provincial capital for the first time since their regime was toppled in 2001.

"We are pursuing them and the gun battle is still ongoing," Nasrati said.

Afghan officials claimed at least 80 militants were killed during the offensive, including several foreign fighters.

Kunduz province, which borders Tajikistan, was also attacked by the Taliban last summer and then again in early 2015, but they were driven back.

Despite this success, Afghan forces are under heavy pressure from increasing Taliban attacks since they announced a 'Spring Offensive' in April.

A day earlier, the Taliban launched an attack on the Afghan parliament in Kabul as the lawmakers were to endorse the new Defence Minister. Six attackers and two civilians were killed and 30 others were injured.

Afghanistan's UN envoy said after the parliament attack that "extremists have united in a new offensive" against the country, with more than 7,000 foreign fighters.

In a speech to the UN Security Council, Zahir Tanin claimed the militants are recently trying to control the certain areas for their future plans in south and central Asia.

Zanin blamed Pakistan's latest military offensive in North Waziristan for the influx of foreign fighters, including Chechens, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Pakistanis, to Afghanistan.

TRTWorld and agencies