Afghan Taliban ‘seizes control of central Kunduz’

Afghanistan kunduz

Afghanistan kunduz

Taliban fighters have seized control of most of central Kunduz, a Taliban spokesman told FRANCE 24, a year after the militants briefly overran the northern Afghan city.

The Taliban has taken over central Kunduz but government forces were still in control of the city’s airport, a spokesman for the group told FRANCE 24’s expert on jihadist movements, Wassim Nasr.

Footage posted on social media showed Taliban fighters in the centre of the city. FRANCE 24 could not independently verify the authenticity of the footage.

Sheer Ali Kamawal, commander of the 808 Tandar police zone in Kunduz, said the Taliban assault began at around midnight (1930 GMT Sunday) and fighting was going on in and around the city. Some Taliban fighters had entrenched themselves in homes.

The fighters appeared to have slipped through a defensive security line set up around Kunduz, entering the city from four directions before clashes broke out, witnesses said.

In Kabul, Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, spokesman for Afghanistan’s NATO-led force, said it was ready to provide support if needed.

“At this point, we are not observing evidence via our internal means to support the reports that Kunduz is under significant attack,” he told Reuters in an emailed statement.

With fighting intensifying across the country, the attack on Kunduz, a day before a major donor conference in Brussels, underlined Afghanistan’s precarious security situation and the Taliban’s ability to strike against important targets.