Afghan forces have claimed that they retook control of the strategic northern city of Kunduz on Thursday, three days after losing the provincial capital in an embarrassing defeat, for Kabul and its US allies.
The temporary fall of the provincial capital, highlights the stubborn insurgency’s potential to expand beyond its rural strongholds in the south of the country. After three days of heavy fighting, Afghan force who were hindered by the slow arrival of reinforcements backed by limited US air support, managed to regain control of the city.
According to reports, On Thursday, troops managed to reach the centre of Kunduz where the streets were littered with Taliban bodies. The fighting was still ongoing in parts of the city, residents said.
“(Afghan) special forces now control Kunduz City, it is retaken and being cleared (of) terrorists,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Twitter, that the insurgents had suffered heavy casualties. Deputy Interior Minister Ayoub Salangi also said the city had been recaptured after a “special operation” overnight.
Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesperson, however, denied that the government had retaken Kunduz, saying insurgent fighters were still resisting government forces in the centre and controlled most of the city. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, said the fighting was continuing.
“Enemy claims regarding the Kunduz situation are not true. Mujahedeen (Taliban fighters) are resisting in the city’s security circle,” Mujahid said, adding that Taliban still controlled most of the city and surrounding districts.