Afghan forces regain Kunduz from Taliban

Officials say Afghan forces recaptured strategic points of Kunduz from Taliban as operations continue

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

An Afghan policeman patrols next to a burning vehicle in the city of Kunduz, Afghanistan October 1, 2015

Afghan forces took control of the northern city of Kunduz on early Thursday which was captured by the Taliban on Monday, Afghan officials said. Government landmarks were held back with a counter-offensive launched against the Taliban insurgents overnight at 11 pm until 4 am Thursday.

"In coordination with the Afghan security forces we managed to clear all parts of Kunduz city from the Taliban. Right now we are in the main square of Kunduz and I ask Kunduz residents to continue with their normal life," police chief of Kunduz, Qasim Jangal Bagh said.

Sediq Sediqqi, Spokesperson to the Afghan Interior Affairs reiterated Bagh’s statement on Twitter saying that “AFG Special Security Forces now control Kunduz City, it is retaken and being cleared from terrorists, heavy causality to the enemy.”

However, Taliban denied the Afghan forces recapturing the Kunduz city and spokesperson for Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, said they were resisting in the central Kunduz and most of the city is still controlled by them.

Afghan government forces were trying to regain Kunduz since the Taliban took the control of the city. As Afghani government struggled to fight against the Taliban, the US air strikes started against the Taliban positions on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, additional NATO forces supporting Afghan government have reached the city as Taliban have increased its offensive and surge outward from Kunduz.

A NATO spokesperson said on Wednesday coalition special forces were on the ground in Kunduz advising their Afghan counterparts but NATO’s role in the Tuesday night offensive was not immediately confirmed.

Capture of Kunduz which came after two unsuccessfull attempts was the first and most important success of the Taliban since 2001, when their government was toppled down.  

On Monday, following the first anniversary of President Ashraf Ghani in power, Taliban has taken the control of the strategic city which was the Taliban’s former northern stronghold and is an important transportation hub for the north of the country.

Afghan President Asraf Ghani agreed with United States on a security deal to keep US and the troops of the allied forces in Afghanistan after their combat mission have ended in 2014.

The security deal was strongly opposed by the new Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour. In September, he released a statement demanding one year old Ghani government to cancel the security deal with the United States and expel foreign troops from Afghanistan.


TRTWorld and agencies