KABUL: The Taliban captured the northern Afghan city of Kunduz in a massive assault Monday involving hundreds of fighters, and now control a major urban area for the first time since the 2001 United States (US)-led invasion.

The fall of Kunduz marks a major setback for government forces, who have struggled to combat the Taliban since the US and North-Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) shifted to a supporting role at the end of last year.

Read: 'Northern Afghan city of Kunduz collapses into hands of Taliban'

Afghan military reinforcements have been sent to recapture Kunduz.

The US also launched airstrikes against the Taliban insurgents on Tuesday to show support for the Afghan troops.

The Kunduz assault highlighted the resiliency of the Taliban following the revelation earlier this year that their reclusive longtime leader Mullah Mohammad Omar died two years ago.

A bitter internal dispute over the appointment of his successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, has yet to be fully resolved, but seems to have had little impact on the battlefield.

Read: US air strike hits Taliban in captured Afghan city: Nato

Afghan security forces travel in a Humvee vehicle, as battles were ongoing between Taliban militants and Afghan security forces, in Kunduz, capital of northeastern Kunduz province. — AFP
Afghan security forces travel in a Humvee vehicle, as battles were ongoing between Taliban militants and Afghan security forces, in Kunduz, capital of northeastern Kunduz province. — AFP
Afghan security personnel driving on a road as heavy fighting erupted near the airport on the outskirts of Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan security personnel driving on a road as heavy fighting erupted near the airport on the outskirts of Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan security forces patrol, as battles were ongoing between Taliban militants and Afghan security forces, in Kunduz, capital of northeastern Kunduz province. — AFP
Afghan security forces patrol, as battles were ongoing between Taliban militants and Afghan security forces, in Kunduz, capital of northeastern Kunduz province. — AFP
An Afghan policeman holds a gun on his sholder a day after Taliban insurgents overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz. — AFP
An Afghan policeman holds a gun on his sholder a day after Taliban insurgents overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz. — AFP
In this Sept. 29, 2015, photo, a Taliban fighter stands guard on a vehicle in Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. — AP
In this Sept. 29, 2015, photo, a Taliban fighter stands guard on a vehicle in Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. — AP
A Taliban fighter sits on a motor-cycle sporting a Taliban flag a day after the insurgents overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz. — AFP
A Taliban fighter sits on a motor-cycle sporting a Taliban flag a day after the insurgents overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan security forces gather at the roadside a day after Taliban insurgents overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan security forces gather at the roadside a day after Taliban insurgents overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan security forces travel on an armored vehicle in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan. — Reuters
Afghan security forces travel on an armored vehicle in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan. — Reuters
Taliban fighters are seen in an International Commitee of the Red Cross (ICRC) vehicle a day after the insurgents overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz. — AFP
Taliban fighters are seen in an International Commitee of the Red Cross (ICRC) vehicle a day after the insurgents overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz. — AFP
Taliban fighters hug each other a day after they overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz. — AFP
Taliban fighters hug each other a day after they overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan acting Defence Minister Mohammed Masoom Stanekza (L), Interior Minister General Nur ul-Haq Ulumi (C) and the Head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) Rahmatullah Nabil (R) look on during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul. — AFP
Afghan acting Defence Minister Mohammed Masoom Stanekza (L), Interior Minister General Nur ul-Haq Ulumi (C) and the Head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) Rahmatullah Nabil (R) look on during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul. — AFP
Afghan special forces arrive at the airport as they launch a counteroffensive to retake the city from Taliban insurgents, in Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan special forces arrive at the airport as they launch a counteroffensive to retake the city from Taliban insurgents, in Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan special forces arrive at the airport as they launch a counteroffensive to retake the city from Taliban insurgents, in Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan special forces arrive at the airport as they launch a counteroffensive to retake the city from Taliban insurgents, in Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan security personnel keeping watch as heavy fighting erupted near the airport on the outskirts of Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan security personnel keeping watch as heavy fighting erupted near the airport on the outskirts of Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan special forces arrive at the airport as they launch a counteroffensive to retake the city from Taliban insurgents, in Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan special forces arrive at the airport as they launch a counteroffensive to retake the city from Taliban insurgents, in Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan security personnel keeping watch as heavy fighting erupted near the airport on the outskirts of Kunduz. — AFP
Afghan security personnel keeping watch as heavy fighting erupted near the airport on the outskirts of Kunduz. — AFP

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Comments (5) Closed

asgher
Sep 30, 2015 05:22pm
ISIS being the most pumped terrorist group in a WAR TORN COUNTRY like Syria is not able to take an entire city over night. Talibans stuns everybody after taking over in a day? Its not that easy to be done over night. Now USA has more reason staying in Afghanistan. Thats what its all about!
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MHamza
Sep 30, 2015 05:45pm
I always feel sad on any such incident in Afghanistan....!!! In Pakistan, I have confronted many Afghani refugees and they r very hard working. Hope Afghanistan will be Terror free one day
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Pakistani
Oct 01, 2015 08:17am
@asgher ...afghani cities are made with mud and are mostly ruined due to decades of war, can u see any building there?? Syria was a developed country with European influence you can't compare Syria with afghanistan. Come on
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Ahtesham
Oct 01, 2015 03:49pm
Indian RAW provided support to Taliban and playing politics in Afghanistan also..
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Pragmatist
Oct 02, 2015 01:24am
US trained troops never ever succeed. From Vietnam to Iraq, to US trained Syrian rebels and now Afghanistan its the same pattern of defeat.
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