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Taliban fighters storm Kunduz city

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The Taliban militants entered the Kunduz city Monday after launching a massive offensive from four direction, officials and residents said.

“After hours of clashes, Taliban captured Khiaban Madrasa and provincial council office,” provincial council member Aminullah said.

He said that Taliban entered from east and west.

“Only police headquarters, governor’s office and Bala Hesar area is controlled by government forces,” Aminullah added.

Another provincial council member Assadullah Sadat confirmed the fall of the city to Taliban, saying that Bandar-e-Emam, Bandar-e-Khanabad, Bandar-e-Kabul,Khiaban Madrasa, PDs one and three also fell to the insurgents after heavy clashes.

People are in fear and struggling to flee the city, but the ways were blocked by Taliban, he asserted.

“The militants started the coordinated offensive from different directions in the early hours of dawn and heavy clashes began in the outskirts of the city,” provincial police spokesman Mahfuzollah Akbari said.

He said that government forces were engaged in fierce fighting against the militants in and around Kunduz city.

“Taliban attacked Zakhil area, PD 1 and PD 3, Charkhab, Bandar-e-Emam, Angorbagh and Bandar-e-Kabul areas at around 2:00am,” he added.

“Taliban used night-dark to enter the houses around the city of Kunduz and started firing on security forces,” he noted.

Akbari highlighted that Kabul-Kunduz high way was blocked for traffic.

He confirmed there were casualties to both sides, but could not detail.

Lawmaker Fatema Aziz believes the “inefficiency of security officials” was the main factor behind the city fall.

She warned last year’s tragedy would repeat in the city if the government was not serious in Kuduz issue.

Aziz added that security forces were bravely fighting, but the high-ranking officials were inefficient.

Taliban in a statement claimed that their fighters, after heavy clashes entered to Kunduz city.

A spokesman for the insurgents Zabihullah Mujahid said that their fighters captured Kunduz city square and some other parts Monday afternoon.

It is pertained to mention that around one year ago, the Taliban briefly overran Kunduz, the first city of a major strategic province for the first time after collapse of their regime in 2001.

Late evening in a statement, the 808 Spinzar police zone’s press department said that Kunduz city has not fallen down to Taliban and all the governmental offices are under control of the security forces.

According to the statement, fresh troops reached to the area and heavy clashes between the security forces and the insurgents were underway.

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