Taliban militants attacked Kunduz airport late Tuesday night, but were repelled by airstrikes, Afghan news agency Khaama Press reported.
A U.S. Air Force C-130J transport plane crashed overnight at an air base in eastern Afghanistan, killing six American airmen and 5 civilians, the US military said Friday.
The Taliban, known to exaggerate about their military gains, made the claim after securing a major propaganda victory in northern Afghanistan by seizing the strategic city of Kunduz for almost three days.
However US Major Tony Wickman told AFP: “With a high degree of confidence I can say that an enemy attack did not contribute to the crash. It is under investigation”.
The crash comes with Afghan forces battling the Taliban which has blighted the country since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.
Taliban fighters have rigged two key highways with landmines and blocked access with rocks and trees, and militants are ambushing troops as they head closer to the city, the broadcaster said. “We will target and kill them”.
Ghani, appearing at a televised news conference with his defense and interior ministers, said the city was retaken with no fatalities among the government security forces.
“The Taliban who knew Kunduz left the city already, but many foreign fighters could not flee and are hiding in people’s homes in a few parts of the city center and are still resisting”, Sahil said on Friday.
“The Taliban have laid landmines and booby traps around Kunduz, slowing the movement of convoys of Afghan army reinforcements driving to the city”, an Afghan security official said. He said he could not provide information about casualties on the ground, as recovery operations were still underway.
Both Amnesty global and the Afghan government have accused the Taliban of various crimes, including murder and rape.
At least 60 people have been killed in the fighting as of Friday, according to a Health Ministry spokesman.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said the other five people aboard killed in the C-130 crash were contractors working for “Resolute Support”, the NATO-led training mission.
The fall of the provincial capital, even temporarily, had highlighted the stubborn insurgency’s potential to expand beyond its rural strongholds in the south of the country.
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules, which has been in use since the 1950s, transports cargo.
The wounded included 64 children, medical charity Doctors Without Borders said.
It also comes as a nascent peace dialogue hits a roadblock, following the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
There are about 1,000 coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan, including United States and Polish forces, as well as about 40,000 Afghan troops, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.