Afghan Forces Free Kunduz of Taliban, Militants 'Sustain Heavy Losses'

Sputnik News

16:31 05.10.2016(updated 16:34 05.10.2016)

An attempt by Taliban militants to seize the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan failed. The attackers sustained heavy losses and retreated, spokesperson for the Afghan Defense Ministry Dowlat Vaziri said.

On Monday, Taliban militants launched an offensive and captured several areas in Kunduz. Local media reported that the militants took control over the National Security Directorate building and were heading towards the governor's administration office.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the center of Kunduz had been freed from Taliban. Over two dozens of militants were killed in clashes between Taliban and Afghan security forces.

"During the last two days, Taliban militants were not able to seize a single army checkpoint in Kunduz. The militants were kicked out of the town," Vaziri told Sputnik Dari.

According to him, initially militants entered the city and occupied some residential building. In order to prevent civilian casualties, security forces decided not to conduct airstrikes.

"The Afghani Special Forces backed by police forces conducted an operation to contain terrorists inside the city. The militants sustained losses. You can see their bodies in the streets. Those who survived escaped," he added.

The Taliban militants were able to seize some territories in Helmand and Uruzgan regions over the last two months.

Militant groups are still holding positions in areas south, southwest and west of Kunduz. A counterterrorism operation is currently underway in those areas. Security forces have managed to establish a "security belt" between the Kunduz, Helmand and Uruzgan provinces.

Vaziri underscored that the Afghani security forces are very capable and resolved to repel any further militant attack.

Recently, the security situation in Afghanistan deteriorated. The Taliban seized vast rural areas and launched an offensive on major cities. The presence of Daesh terrorist group has also significantly grown in the country.

Kunduz is the most important administrative, military and strategic center in northern Afghanistan. In 2015, the city was seized by Taliban militants but soon was liberated by the Afghan military.


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