Taliban insurgents launched another attempt to capture the northern Afghan city of Kunduz on Saturday as their negotiators held talks with the United States to end their nearly two-decade-long insurgency.
The militants began their attack a little after 1am, targeting the capital of Kunduz province from three directions, and took over residential homes as well as the main hospital.
Afghan security forces retook the hospital by early afternoon, but fighting continued elsewhere in Kunduz, Zaheer Neyazy, a local journalist, told The National.
Afghan officials said they had contained the attack with support from the Afghan Air Force and the US-led Nato coalition forces, with several air strikes in Pul-e-Shenwari, Qahwa Khan and other parts of the city.
Security officials said at least 35 Taliban fighters had been killed in the city, including one commander.
“The commander killed was named Kamel and was head of the Taliban special force called Red Unit,” an official with the National Directorate of Security told The National.
“We are continuing our operations and are concerned that the Taliban are hiding in civilian areas and public buildings, showing their inability to fight on the battlefield,” he said.
Kunduz police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussainy said nine Afghan security forces were killed. He later died in a suicide bombing that severely injured a police commander, Manzour Stanekzay, who was also providing updates to the media.
Read full report on The National