“They said, ‘We don’t have arms”.
“Obviously, this is a setback for the Afghan security forces“, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Tuesday of the loss of Kunduz. All night long the Taliban were playing religious songs through loudspeakers from the roofs of people’s homes and also from pick-up trucks that they were driving around in. There have been no fatalities on our side.
Can government keep key city secure? The insurgents still have a presence in various parts of the city, he tells a press conference. “Small guerrilla forces remain in various neighborhoods”. “We have to clear all the surrounding areas and open transport links so people can come and go”.
The city was captured by the Taliban during an overnight assault on Monday.
“The war is ongoing”, he said.
He said about 200 Taliban fighters have been killed in the fighting so far but did not provide a figure for government casualties.
The NDS said earlier this year that the Taliban wanted to make Kunduz and Badakhshan centres of global terrorism operations – an obvious threat to neighbouring countries.
The Taliban started firing at government troops from inside people’s houses and from the top of high-rise buildings.
The Taliban military movement launched a large-scale offensive in April, despite continuous attempts by the Afghan government to resume peace talks.
The office’s Twitter account says they discussed “the security situation and latest developments” on Thursday afternoon. In Kunduz, the mayor was appointed by President Ashraf Ghani, while the police chief of commands was supported by NUG CEO Abdullah Abdullah.
The Taliban’s recent advances in Kunduz and neighboring Takhar and Baghlan provinces highlight that a large and strategic patch of northern Afghanistan is imperilled by a rapidly expanding insurgency.
Fighting has continued with the group capturing and then losing the strategic districtof Musa Kala in the southern province of Helmand last month.
The majority of the casualties were civilians, including women and children, the doctors said.
However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, said the fighting was continuing.
A lot has been attributed to the eventual fall of the Kunduz city – from weak central powers to the rise of a new Taliban chief.
They had only advanced about one kilometre during the day, he added. “Those strikes prompted the Taliban to escape”, Kunduz resident Abdul Qadir Anwari said on Thursday.
Afghan security forces arrive in the city of Kunduz, Afghanistan October 1, 2015.
Army spokesman, Colonel Brian Tribus, had said that USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation coalition advisers, including special forces, were also at the scene “in the Kunduz area, advising Afghan security forces”.
While they fought to save lives, competing narratives circulated over who was winning Kunduz.
They said the hospital was running low on medical supplies and suffering from a shortage of medicine and staff as many employees had run away. He spoke over the phone to the AP. “We are still looking for explosives, terrorists and suicide bombers”.
Independent sources from Kunduz have also confirmed that Afghan forces entered the city early Thursday morning.
In May, US President Barack Obama had said that by the end of 2015 the American force in Afghanistan would be roughly half of the current total of about 10,000 and would operate only from bases in the capital, Kabul, and Bagram, a giant air base near that city. A Taliban commander acknowledged his fighters had failed to hold the airport but said the Islamist group’s forces were still in control of the city.
According to one resident who did not want to be named, the Taliban flag in the main square had been removed and a few shops had reopened.