Despite reports in the Afghan media, the claim of Kunduz falling completely into the hands of the Taliban is yet to be confirmed by the Afghan government and official institutions.
“Security forces in Kunduz were prepared for an attack, but not one of this size, and not one that was coordinated in 10 different locations at the same time”, he said.
Afghan military helicopters were firing rockets at militants in three areas on Kunduz city’s outskirts, a police spokesman said.
The authorizes were preparing to recapture the city from the Taliban insurgents as soon as possible, said Kunduz police chief spokesman, Sayed Sarwar Hussaini.
Some militants have reportedly entered homes of civilians and were using them as bastions; also some houses reportedly caught fire during the attack and there was a fear that some families might be trapped inside. Kunduz, in the north-east, is the country’s fifth-largest city, located about 250km north of the capital, Kabul.
A doctor in the hospital said by telephone that after searching room to room for wounded members of the Afghan security forces, the insurgents posed for photos, apparently as proof that they had been there, and left.
Afghanistan’s Nato-trained police and army personnel have been fighting the militants this year without the front-line help of foreign forces, which ended their combat mission in December last year.
Reuters cited one witness saying the militants had hoisted their flag in the city’s main square, just 200 yards from the governor’s compound.
The aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres said Monday that its trauma center in Kunduz had received 66 patients, including eight who were declared dead on arrival and 17 who were in critical condition.
Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, the head of the Kunduz provincial council, said residents were “greatly concerned” about the deteriorating situation.
Both Afghan government leaders and the U.S.-led coalition view the defense of Kunduz as a key test of whether security forces could prevent the Taliban from expanding its reach in the country.
Hundreds of gunmen stormed the city at around 3 a.m. from several directions, officials said. “They will soon clear the city”, he said.
This photograph taken on August 1, 2015, shows Afghanistan’s militia forces taking position as they remain alert in their conflict against Taliban militants in Qala-e Zal district of Kunduz province.
He said 20 Taliban fighters were killed and three Afghan police wounded in the clashes.
Military reinforcements have been sent to Kunduz, where government forces managed to fend off a major Taliban assault earlier this year.
Heavy fighting is ongoing in Kunduz after the Taliban launched a major assault on the provincial capital this morning.
The Taliban have been waging an armed struggle since a US-led invasion ousted them from power in late 2001, and have stepped up attacks during a summer offensive launched in late April against the Western-backed government in Kabul.