Taliban launches major assault to capture Kunduz

| Updated: Oct 04, 2016 04:11 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], Oct. 3 (ANI): As the Taliban launched a major offensive on Monday to capture Kunduz, Afghan Government forces are fighting on the ground and from the air to defend the northern city. "This time, the Taliban won't be able to capture any part of Kunduz," said Mahfoz Akbari, spokesman for the police in Kunduz, reports the CNN. Akbari was referring to the Taliban's brief capture of the strategically important city in September 2015. Ehsanullah Sadiqi, an aid worker living in Kunduz, described an eruption of gunfire early Monday morning. He said a lot of people, who fled Kunduz last year at this time when the Taliban had taken over the city, returned so the number of people trying to flee again today was huge. However, the US military in Afghanistan downplayed the situation with Brigadier General Charles Cleveland saying, "We are not observing evidence via our internal means to support the reports that Kunduz is under significant attack." He characterised the current clashes in Kunduz as "ongoing sporadic fighting". The Taliban on Monday claimed to have the capital cities of two southern provinces, Helmand and Uruzgan, surrounded and "under severe military operations." (ANI)