Afghan army launches counter-attack against Taliban in Kunduz

Published September 29th, 2015 - 10:23 GMT

Afghan security forces have launched a counter-attack against Taliban militants, shortly after they gained control over the country’s strategic northern city of Kunduz.

The security forces were deployed to Kunduz Province’s capital city, the Afghan Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Fresh troops have arrived in Kunduz and an operation has been launched,” the defense ministry statement said.

According to the statement, Afghan forces have regained control over the city prison and the provincial police headquarters, which had fallen to the militants the previous night.

On Monday, the militants overran the city after entering the province from three directions. Officials confirmed that the Taliban had stormed government buildings and taken over a state-run hospital.

Afghan officials say the militants had also freed hundreds of prisoners, including Taliban commanders.

Meanwhile, NATO said in a statement on Tuesday that the United States had carried out an airstrike against the militants in Kunduz to “eliminate a threat to Afghan and coalition forces.”

Kunduz Province is strategic as it is located on a crossroad that connects key regions of the country. It is also along the country’s border with Tajikistan and could offer the militants the opportunity to establish a base in the country’s north.

Kunduz has been witnessing battles between security forces and militants since April.

The militants have three times attempted to take control of Kuduz this year.

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