Daily US Times: Taliban fighters took control of much of the capital of northern Afghanistan’s Kunduz province, including the police headquarters and governor’s office, a provincial council member said.
Ghulam Rabani Rabani said fighting between government forces and Taliban militants had taken place around the police headquarters and governor’s office but the Taliban had taken over the two buildings of police headquarters.
He said that Taliban also had control of the main prison building in Kunduz.
Rabani said fighting was continuing at the Kunduz city’s airport and other parts. The city is a strategic crossroads with good access to much of northern Afghanistan as well as the capital, Kabul, about 335 kilometers (200 miles) away.
If Kunduz falls, it would be a significant gain for the militant group and a test of their ability to take and retain territory. It is one of Afghanistan’s larger cities with a population of more than 340,000.
A Taliban surge has intensified as US and international troops wrap up their withdrawal from the country, after two decades to conflict.
With Taliban attacks intensified, Afghan government troops and security forces have retaliated with airstrikes aided by the United States.
The fighting between Taliban and govt forces has raised growing concerns about civilian casualties.
Taliban fighters entered the capital of Jawzjan province on Saturday after sweeping through nine of 10 districts in the province.
Several other of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals are threatened as the fighters of the militant group sweep through large swaths of Afghanistan at a surprising speed.
Meanwhile, airstrikes damaged a high school and health clinic in the capital of southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province, a provincial council member said Sunday.