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Afghan forces retake Kunduz district from Taliban

Updated Aug 22, 2016 10:44am

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KUNDUZ: Afghan forces have recaptured a district that had fallen briefly to the Taliban, officials and residents said on Sunday, after thousands of people fled their homes in Afghanistan’s northeastern Kunduz province.

Khan Abad district, which is around 30 kilometres east of Kunduz city — the provincial capital where militants last year scored their biggest ever victory — had fallen to the Taliban after they launched a pre-dawn attack on the district centre on Saturday, according to local officials.

Several hours later Afghan special forces were deployed to the area — a key route to Kunduz city — to retake the district.

The district was recaptured by government forces on Saturday evening, according to Sayed Mahmood Danish, a Kunduz governor spokesman.

“Taliban are now being chased away. The threat to the city is gone. We are expanding our operations beyond the district,” said Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.

A shopkeeper in Khan Abad district, Khalid, told AFP that people were still worried about the Taliban making a return to the city.

“The roads are empty, few shops are open in the city. People do not have access to food and drinking water. We still cannot come out of our houses,” he said.

Another resident, Mohammad Sahim, said the militants had looted and set fire to government buildings.

“People are in fear, you don’t see many people in the streets, schools are closed,” he said, adding that there is a danger of food shortages.

The Taliban briefly captured Kunduz city in September last year, the first city to fall to the insurgents in their biggest victory in 14 years of war.

The militants were driven out almost two weeks later by Afghan forces backed by US aircraft and Nato soldiers, but it marked the first time since 2001 that the Taliban were able to take control of a major city in the country.

After the brief Kunduz city takeover, US and Afghan officials insisted that they would not allow another urban centre to be captured.

Earlier this month, the Taliban launched a major offensive in volatile southern Helmand province, surrounding the capital Lashkar Gah, a town of 200,000 inhabitants, but were stopped by Afghan forces supported by American air strikes.

The fighting in Helmand and Kunduz comes as Afghan troops are stretched on multiple fronts across Afghanistan — including eastern Nangarhar province where the IS is making inroads.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2016

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Comments (14) Closed



Manish Aug 22, 2016 11:18am

Well Done Afghans. Congratulations!

Presecuted Kashmiris {Republic of Jammu and Kashmir { Srinagar} Aug 22, 2016 11:24am

@Manish , Now time to retake the occupied land from India and set up a new country called Republic of Jammu and Kashmir. We will make sure that next time india visits our place, you secure proper Visa and follow standard procedures.

Kamal Pasha. Aug 22, 2016 11:39am

Talibans have not gone anywhere. They are Afghans and always be in Afghanistan.

Rajan Aug 22, 2016 12:17pm

progressive country of researchers scientists and scholars...may peace return

WELLWISHER Aug 22, 2016 12:23pm

Way to go Afghans. Congratulations!

GS Aug 22, 2016 12:42pm

We Indians are glad to see the success of our neighbor Afghan brothers !

GS Aug 22, 2016 12:44pm

@Presecuted Kashmiris {Republic of Jammu and Kashmir { Srinagar}

Didn't you try for last 70 years ?

jawaid Aug 22, 2016 12:49pm

American led planning and support are bringing fruits. Afghan security forces are getting more effective by the day. It is good that chaos-destruction oriented groups like Taliban and ISIS are becoming weak.

Akhand Bharat Aug 22, 2016 01:36pm

@Presecuted Kashmiris {Republic of Jammu and Kashmir { Srinagar} Whole India is yours man. Not just J&K.

Kabeer Aug 22, 2016 03:13pm

@GS Sometime it takes 100 years but still freedom worth it

ART KP Aug 22, 2016 06:19pm

@GS Afghanistan your neighbour? you need geography lessons!

ozzy Aug 22, 2016 08:02pm

@GS didnt the soviets have the same thinking as your. What happend to them. Nd btw you can never compare urself to the soviets

Karim Aug 22, 2016 08:08pm

@Presecuted Kashmiris {Republic of Jammu and Kashmir { Srinagar} - We Pakistanis never accept Kashmir as an independent country, it should be one of the states of Pakistan. Don't dream of Republic of Jammu and Kashmir.

anonymouseee Aug 22, 2016 09:21pm

@Presecuted Kashmiris {Republic of Jammu and Kashmir { Srinagar} I agree.