Kunduz won’t fall to insurgents, says Massoud
KUNDUZ/FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): President’s special representative for reforms and good governance Ahmad Zia Massoud on Monday said the Taliban would never be able to seize control of northern Kunduz province, as clashes between security forces and thousands of militants continued near the provincial capital.
Accompanied by a number of Ministry of Defence officials, Massoud who arrived Kunduz City from Badakhshan province told reporters at the airfield in Kunduz City that the morale of Afghan forces was high and they possessed modern equipment.
He said a sufficient number of security forces from northern Balkh province had been called in to assist security forces in Kunduz province in destroying militant safe havens.
Massoud arrived in Kunduz when heavy fighting between security forces and Taliban insurgents killed a large number of combatants on the outskirts of Kunduz city.
Local officials said about 2000 militants, including foreigners, attacked security posts from various directions, leading President Ashraf Ghani to delay his departure on a state visit to India by several hours.
Officials said hundreds of Taliban insurgents had attacked police and army checkposts, threatening to overrun parts of the provincial capital.
Massoud also visited northeastern Badakhsahn province, saying militants had been completely eliminated in the Juram district.
He called people’s support with security forces as crucial, saying the Taliban were not a big threat and could be defeated.
Ground forces commander Lt. Gen. Murad Ali Murad, who accompanied Massoud on the trip, said the Taliban militants had suffered heavy casualties in Juram during clashes with Afghan forces.
He said the operations targetted areas where foreign and Afghan militants were active.
About insecurity in Kunduz province, Murad said a clearing operation had been launched in the capital of Kunduz and more security forces would reach there to improve security.
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