Afghan forces have reclaimed parts of Kunduz, after a six hour assault that drove militants from the city.
Ongoing action has been taken since Thursday morning to regain control of the northern city; an Afghan Special Forces commander reported that the Taliban left central Kunduz after a US air strike which depleted their troops on Tuesday night. Afghan residents say that the army was experiencing rigid control in Taliban governed regions.
Afghan Interior Ministry Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi confirmed their recapture of the city in a statement published on Twitter. “It is retaken and being cleared from terrorists, with heavy casualties to the enemy,” he said. At this stage, no fatalities have been reported from the Afghan side.
The Taliban gained control over Kunduz on Monday, in what was their greatest success since their loss of power in 2001.
US forces became involved, as well as British and German troops, resulting in heavy fighting, particularly at the Kunduz airport. However, the majority of the fighting was carried out by Afghan forces, with the coalition launching 8 defensive airstrikes in the past several days.
Although a major setback for Ashraf Ghani’s government, control was resumed quickly over some government buildings.
Approximately 80 militants were killed in the fighting, including senior Taliban commander Sayed Sarwar Hussaini, his deputy, and 15 of their troops.
At least 16 civilians were also killed during the fighting, while hundreds of casualties have been admitted to Doctors Without Borders for emergency medical attention throughout the course of the hostility. – Samantha Barrie
Top screenshot of Kunduz underfire, from Al Jazeera’s newscast.