Kunduz City may collapse soon, warn anxious residents
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Some residents and provincial council members claimmilitants control more than 80 percent of northern Kunduz province, blaming the government for lacking the will to recapture the areas.
With each passing day, the security situation is deteriorating as rebels capture more and more territory. Mohammad Yusuf Ayubi,the provincial council head,slammed the central local governmentsfor failing to deal with the challenge.
Earlier, 70 percent of the province was under Taliban’s control, but currently two districts and several other localities of Dasht-i-Archi had also been overrun by them, Ayubi said.
Zar Gul Alami, the provincial council secretary,also accused the government of failing to maintain security in the province. The government and its security forces did not have the capacity to enforce the state’s writ, she alleged.
Mrs. Alami told Pajhwok Afghan News: “The government controls only four streets. Previously, 70% of the provincewas under its control. However, after the fall of Qala-i-Zal, Khanabad and many parts of Imam Sahib and Dasht-i-Archi districts, we can say 80 to 90% of the province is under Taliban sway.”
Many residents warn the province could once again collapse like a house of cards if the government continues to downplay security concerns.
ShahbazSabiri, a civil rights activist, also said 80% of areas had been captured by rebels. “We want the government to ensure coordination among security forces to remove militants and thereby foreclose the possibility of Kunduz City falling yet again.”
Another inhabitant, Aimalsaid the Taliban were active close to the provincial capital, posing a major security threat to residents.He complained they could not go to their ancestral village, 10 kilometres from the city.
But security officials promise a huge counter-insurgency offensivewill be launched soon in the city and embattled districts. The province would not be retaken by militants, they assure.
Police chief Brig. Gen. Mohammad Qaseem Jangalbagh told Pajhwok Afghan News: “Our security unites are fighting in a coordinated manner against the enemies of the Afghan people and would not let the province fall again to insurgents.”
Denying the control of 80% of areas by armed rebels, he admitted the militantshad partial sway in a few districts. Security forces had plans to flush them out, the police chief added.
As security concerns have grown among residence and provincial council members, rebel have been captured Qala-i-Zal and Khanabad districts. Fierce clashes are still going on in Chahar Dara and Imam Sahib towns.
In early October 2015, Kunduz City fell to Taliban triggering 14 days of clashes on every road and street. However, security forces wrested back the city’s control. As a result of fierce gunbattles, more than 300 people were killed.
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