UpdateThe Afghan city of Kunduz falls into the hands of the Taliban after heavy fighting this morning between Afghan security forces and Muslim extremists. This was reported by Agence France-Presse. “Kunduz has fallen. The Taliban has taken control of all the important buildings in the city,” the news agency’s correspondent said.
Earlier this morning, there was news of heavy fighting in the runway. A resident told AFP by phone of “complete chaos” in the capital of the province of the same name. The Taliban have reached the main square of the city. They are being bombed by planes.”
Sari Pul, another regional capital in the northwest of the country, has also been seized, according to AFP. Earlier in the day, MP Aziza Jalis said Taliban fighters “have reached the city center” and that “fighting continues in the streets”.
Muslim extremists are on the rise as international forces leave Afghanistan after two decades. At the beginning of July, they already controlled a quarter of the country’s 421 provinces. Kunduz and Sar-e-Pul are the third and fourth provincial capitals in three days to be captured by Muslim extremists.
Intense street fights
On Friday, Taliban fighters overran the provincial capital Zaranj in southwestern Afghanistan and a day later, in northern Jawzjan province. Government forces were said to have retreated to the city’s airport. This was the first time since the beginning of the western withdrawal that the Taliban had taken control of a provincial capital.
A member of the Kunduz Provincial Council spoke of “violent street fighting” in several places in the provincial capital. “Some security forces withdrew to the airport,” he added. Dutch soldiers were also active in Kunduz. They trained police officers there. The police training mission started in 2011 and ended early about two years later.
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