Thousands flee as life paralyzed in Kunduz City
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): The Taliban attack on Kunduz City, the capital of northern Kunduz province, and the ensuing gunbattle have destroyed all systems people need.
Since the Taliban took control of the city late on Monday, electricity has been cut off, water supply and communications systems have been disrupted and all schools closed.
Taliban militants patrol the streets of Kunduz City in vehicles and on foot and residents have shut their houses’ doors. All markets are closed and there has been no trade activity.
Residents say the power transmission line was destroyed by the Taliban soon after they entered the city.
Sifatullah, who lives in Imam Sahib Bandar area, told Pajhwok Afghan News gunbattle started at midnight (the night between Sunday and Monday) and the clashes slowly spread to the heart of the city.
“It was Monday afternoon when the Taliban entered the city and chaos erupted in different parts of the city and the evening the power transmission line was hit, plunging the entire city into darkness.”
Other residents said the Taliban not only torched the electricity department, but several others government and non-governmental buildings.
One resident, who declined to be named for his safety, told Pajhwok Afghan News almost all government and foreign offices had been plundered and some torched.
He said the Taliban plundered all government departments, the governor’s house, the police headquarters and others on the first night of their attack.
He said those torched included the electricity department, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) office and others.
Civil society activists in Kunduz City said some media offices had also been caused damages and some had been set alight.
Activist Shukrullah told Pajhwok Afghan News buildings of Roshni Radio and Television and Khawar Radio Television had been torched. He said Kehand Radio building was not torched but its equipment was looted.
Due to the ongoing battle, import and export activities at the Sher Khan Port have been brought to a halt, but private and public installations at the port remain unaffected.
An official at the port, Mohammad Aslam, told Pajhwok Afghan News all activities at the port had come to a standstill since the first day of the Taliban attack on Kunduz City.
He said all types of vehicles had stopped plying the road between Kunduz City and the dry port. However, he said there were no clashes at the port site.
Residents said they were fed up with the ongoing situation and clashes and urged the government to find an early solution.
A resident of Spin Ghar area, Bismillah, told Pajhwok Afghan News the electricity blackout had disrupted the power supply system. However, he said families who had water wells in their homes did not face water shortage problem.
He said everyone was trying to flee the city where Taliban patrolled empty streets in vehicles and on foot.
“Taliban on the streets assure people a normal life, but people are scared and they have shut doors of their houses behind them,” Bismillah said.
He said if the government did not bring to a halt the conflict, the time was not far when Kunduz residents would face even bigger problems.
The United Nations has expressed grave concern over the situation in Kunduz. The world’s body said more than 100 people have suffered casualties and 6000 families forced to flee homes.
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