AT-KABUL: Taliban militants have captured Chardara district of northeastern Kunduz province. The insurgents were now fighting security forces in the city.
The militants took control of the district on Saturday evening following long exchange of gunfire with Afghan security forces that left 10 troops and tens of militants dead and dozens of security personnel and Taliban fighters injured, the provincial council chief Yusaf Ayobi told Afghanistan Times.
“After nearly two-day long fighting, finally we lost the district due to lack of facilities and reinforcement,” said the district police chief, Ghulam Muhiuddin.
Officials said that reinforcement was on the way to retake the district. This was the first time that the Taliban took control of this district in the past 14 years, since their regime was toppled by the US invasion in 2001.
The militants launched their spring offensive in late April, during which they intensified their attacks against the government as well as civilian targets.
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The military offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues across the country despite the presence of the US-led troops.
The US-led combat mission in Afghanistan ended on December 31, 2014. However, at least 13,500 foreign forces, mainly from the United States, have remained in Afghanistan in what the US is calling a support mission.
The US-led NATO says the forces would focus mainly on counterterrorism and training Afghan soldiers and policemen.