Kunduz episode won’t recur, says senior military leader
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): A senior military official on Tuesday said the Afghan forces were not prepared for the Taliban attack to capture Kunduz City and vowed such incident would not recur in future.
Gen. Ghulam Muhauddin Ghori, the 20th Pamir Brigade Commander in northeastern zone, told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview that the security forces had been facing numerous problems at the time and they were not prepared to resist the Taliban attack on the strategic city.
A UN report released on Saturday said 289 civilians were killed and another 559 injured in Kunduz City and the surrounding districts between Sept. 28 and Oct. 13 --- the period when the city was overrun by Taliban.
The report has also documented human rights abuses in Kunduz City during the two weeks of Taliban’s occupation.
The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) has estimated at above $100 million losses caused to Kunduz City at the hands of Taliban.
Azarakhsh Hafezi, ACCI international relations committee head, had said most of Afghanistan’s $23 billion gross domestic income came from five major economic centres and Kunduz was one of them. He named the remaining economic hubs as Herat, Kandahar, Nangarhar and Mazar-i-Sharif.
“Based on our estimates, the break in economic activity in Kunduz caused four to five million dollars lose per day and the investors and the government bore the brunt,” he added.
President Ashraf Ghani, during his recent visit to Kunduz, has approved the creation of three new district units and also sacked some National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials over the fall of Kunduz City.
Gen. Ghori warned the Taliban active in Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan provinces of worst consequences if they again tried to repeat the episode of Kunduz. He said the Taliban would take their dream to capture Kunduz again to their graves this time.
He said planning had been completed for a clearing operation on the outskirts of Kunduz to purge the areas of rebels. The offensive, he said, would be launched soon.
At least 27 militants, including five commanders, have been killed and nearly a dozen more wounded during an operation by the Afghan National Army (ANA) commando unit in the province on Monday.
The operation was launched in Homa area on the outskirts of Kunduz city around 2am Sunday night, said Ghori.
He said five Taliban commanders identified as Amir, Esmatullah, Zabihullah, Sardar Mir and Noor Mohammad were among the 27 militants killed and 11 others were wounded during the operation. Ten Kalashnikovs, some ammunition and explosives were also seized from the militants, he added.
He said residents were afraid of the availability of armored equipment with the Taliban they seized during their control of Kunduz city. Security forces were able to dismantle the captured armored equipment and explosives, he added.
The findings of an investigation commission show the Taliban captured 1,000 weapons and 37 armored and unarmored vehicles in Kunduz.
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