Fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban militants went into a fifth day around the city of Kunduz on Wednesday, officials said, as fears rise the city could fall once more to the insurgents.
The Kunduz-Khanabad highway, which connects north-eastern Takhar and Badakhshan province to the capital of embattled north-eastern Kunduz province, has been closed for the past five days. At least seven security posts located on the highway in Khanabad district are surrounded by the Taliban, Sayed Assadullah Sadat, a provincial council member from Kunduz told dpa.
"We don’t have any doubt that Kunduz will fall again", Sadat said.
Kunduz was already captured once by the Taliban, for nearly two weeks in late 2015, the first provincial capital to ever fall to the insurgents since the American led intervention in 2001.
In late 2016, fighters entered the city and fought with security forces for days before being pushed out.
“People are living in fear, almost 30 per cent families who could afford, left Kunduz city," Khaluddin, a resident of Kunduz said. He described life in the city as "strange", with shops closing in the early afternoon every day due to fear and fighting.
Mahfoozullah Akbari, a spokesman for the Kunduz police, said that security forces are advancing towards embattled districts with the help of the Afghan air force.
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