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“Operation underway to recapture Kunduz city”

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Fresh units of security forces have been deployed to recapture Kunduz city, said officials.

President Ashraf Ghani said that Afghan security forces are advancing in the city and are moving towards insurgent-held positions. President Ghani said that the Taliban militants are using civilians as human shield. “Thus, Afghan security forces have to practice more caution to avoid civilian casualties in the operations,” he added. The president said that security forces, backed by military airstrikes, have inflected heavy casualties on the rebels. He assured that the city will soon be back under the government’s control.

President Ghani urged people to trust their security forces. He said that war was imposed on Afghans in the name of such a man, who was already dead for over two years.

Security officials in northern Kunduz province confirmed the other day that most parts of the city have fallen to the Taliban.

Acting Minister of Defense Masoum Stanikzai said that by availing opportunity a number of militants had entered outskirts of Kunduz city  during Eid-ul-Adha, who latter launched a massive attack on the city.

He said that surrounding areas of Kunduz city are under the government’s control. He assured that security situation in Kunduz city will improve soon. He said that they will devise a comprehensive plan to prevent from repetition of such incidents in Kunduz city in the future.

The Minister of Interior, Noorulhaq Ulomi, said that the militants are using civilians as human shield, thus security forces need to practice more caution to avoid civilian casualties during their operations.

Rahmatullah Nabil, Chief of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), said that they are investigating the fall of Kunduz city to the Taliban. Pointing at the prison break, Nabil said that there were 600 prisoners in the jail out of which 110 inmates were Taliban militants.

In the meantime, Kunduz police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Husaini said that security forces have started military operations to purge the city of the Taliban militants. He said that fresh unites of security forces have arrived to the city from Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.

He added that security forces have recaptured the main prison of Kunduz and police headquarters, and are moving towards other Taliban-held positions. “Afghan forces have killed more than 83 Taliban fighters, including three Arabs, in the operations so far. They also recovered three police vehicles and destroyed 15 Pick-Up cars and Humvees full of weapons and explosive materials,” he said. Husaini added that Taliban wanted to take the vehicles to Chahardara district of the province.

Wahidullah Mayar, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, said that 16 dead bodies and 172 wounded persons have been rushed to the central hospital in Kunduz city so far. However, he didn’t give further details.

Resolute Support by sending a press statement to media said that the US forces conducted an airstrike in Kunduz province to eliminate a threat to coalition and Afghan forces in the area. Coalition forces continue to train, advice and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in accordance with the Resolute Support mission.

Fatema Aziz, a lawmaker from Kunduz province, termed government’s incompetence and negligence of local officials in their duties have led to fall of Kunduz city to the Taliban.

She said that a number of officials through a deal handed over the city and its dwellers to the enemy. However, she didn’t mention the names.

“Army soldiers and policemen resisted against the Taliban, but they didn’t receive any support,” she maintained. She said that foreigners were also among the militants fighting against security forces in Kunduz.

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