Taliban capture Kunduz City’s main square: local officials
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Taliban militants entered the capital of northern Kunduz province as they captured the city’s main square, raising their white flags on Monday, local officials said.
One person was killed and 35 people including civilians and security forces were wounded after the insurgents stormed Kunduz City from four directions on Monday morning.
The attacking rebels captured several security posts, but the Ministry of Defence said security forces were in control of the strategic urban centre.
A security source, wishing not to be named, told Pajhwok Afghan News the insurgents entered Kunduz city this afternoon and took control of the main chowk and raised their flags.
Meanwhile, photos published on social media especially Facebook show the Taliban reaching the main square and raising their flags.
A Pajhwok Afghan News reporter left the city and went to the Kunduz airport because of continued fighting. He saw a number of local officials and provincial council members arriving at the airport.
The reporter said heavy clashes were ongoing after heavy explosions and gunfire and quoted local officials as saying, the governor, the police chief and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief were in the city, devising plans to defeat the insurgents.
However, Governor Asadullah Amarkhel on Monday’s afternoon told a press conference that the Taliban attack on the provincial capital had been pushed back and normalcy had returned to the city.
He said the attack on Kunduz city followed an operation security forces conducted a few days ago in Aqtash, Dasht-i-Archi, Qala-i-Zal districts, inflicting casualties on insurgents and driving them away from some areas.
The Taliban in a statement said the fighters took control of the city’s main square and were engaged in fighting with security forces in surroundings of the governor’s house, the police headquarters and the prison.
Sidiq Sidiqi, the interior ministry spokesman, wrote on his Twitter wall that currently the security forces were engaged in fighting with Taliban and Special Forces had been dispatched to the province to push back the insurgents.
NATO Resolute Support said US enablers, including air power, were in position and prepared to assist the Afghan security forces in Kunduz as needed.
The Taliban in retaliation gathered from three provinces on Sunday night and wanted to take control of some parts of Kunduz city.
NATO Resolute Support:” We are aware of reports of ongoing sporadic fighting in Kunduz and are coordinating closely with our Afghan partners to assist.”
“At this point, we are not observing evidence via our internal means to support the reports that Kunduz is under significant attack,” the statement said
It said Resolute Support and USFOR-A forces continued to support ANDSF through training, advising and assisting as well as strategic enabler support
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