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Kunduz fighting; ‘Taliban 200 meters away from governor’s office’

By Mansoor Faizy KABUL: Fierce clashes between Afghan security forces and the Taliban insurgents in Kunduz city have entered fifth day.

Currently, Afghan security forces are engaged in a battle with the Taliban near to the governor’s office and police headquarters in northern city of Kunduz, an official said.

Security situation is worse, Muhammad Yusuf Ayubi, a member of Kunduz Provincial Council said, adding that fighting continues around 200 meters away from the governor’s office and police headquarters.

However, a government source denied fighting near to the two offices. Governor’s spokesman, Syed Mohammad Danish said that security forces have killed 20 militants in Nawabad area. In addition to that, 18 other militants were received injuries, he added.

Afghan Special Forces dispatched to the province after the Taliban insurgent carried complex attack in order to bring the province under control.

Last year, the Taliban insurgent overrun Kunduz, the strategy province. Though it was for a short period of time, but left huge human and property loses.

General SherazizKamawal, commander of 808 Spin Zar zone, said that Taliban’s key commander, Mullah Abdullah along with his nine fighters were killed in an airstrike in Khanabad area of Kunduz province.

He said that the killed commander was leading war against Afghan security forces in eastern parts of Kunduz province.

At the same, the Pentagon termed the current uncertainty in northern Kunduz province is a challenge for the Ashraf Ghani administration and Afghan security forces.

“What you’re seeing in Kunduz is, yes, a challenge to the Afghan security forces posed by the Taliban,” a spokesman for the Defense Depart told a news conference on Thursday.

In a transcript on the Defense Department website, Peter Cook praised the resilience demonstrated in Kunduz over the past few days by the Afghan forces, showing capabilities they did not have in the past.

“So yes, it is absolutely a dangerous situation in Afghanistan, a challenging situation for the Afghan government, certainly for the Afghan forces who have sacrificed mightily to defend their own country,” he added.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Afghanistan on Thursday said “Initial reports suggest up to 10,000 individuals from Kunduz city have arrived in recent days to locations including Kabul, Taloqan and Mazar-i-Sharif.”

“Many families were unable to bring their possessions with them and are in a precarious position. We have had reports that some families have been forced to sleep out in the open and many have few food supplies” said Dominic Parker, Head of Office at UNOCHA in Afghanistan in a statement. Parker said UNOCHA was coordinating with the government and humanitarian partners to ensure the most vulnerable receive assistance.

The individuals displaced from Kunduz join a growing number of conflict-induced IDPs in Afghanistan. As of 2 October 2016, 277,331 individuals are recorded to have fled their homes this year so far because of conflicts.

“Families trapped in Kunduz city are facing water shortages, power cuts and are finding it increasingly difficult to source food and fuel, and when they do, it’s at inflated prices. In addition, with many health clinics shut or running with reduced staff, there is limited access to essential health services” said Parker.

The ongoing fighting forced the Interior Minister, Taj Muhammad Jahid to visit Kunduz province. However his visit did not give birth to a significant result as fighting did not stop.

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