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    Afghan security forces take their positions during a gun battle in Kunduz city, northern Afghanistan September 29, 2015

    Taliban Controls Afghan City of Kunduz

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    The Taliban’s latest advances toward the provincial capital of Kunduz in Afghanistan resulted in the freeing of 900 prisoners, widespread theft within state and foreign institutions and fires set in their buildings.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Media reports of Afghan forces’ Tuesday offensive against Taliban fundamentalist militants who captured the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan are inaccurate, a local source told Sputnik Dari.

    Taliban militants captured their former stronghold of Kunduz on Monday. Media reports claimed government forces were able to clear the territory around several administrative buildings in Kunduz, with the support of US airstrikes, during an offensive the following day.

    "There is no question of the Afghan army’s massive offensive. Its units are two kilometers [1.2 miles] from the city, near the airport and the central part of the city," the source in Kunduz, an Afghan journalist, said.

    Speaking on condition of anonymity, the journalist said Afghan army units were also stationed in cities and towns in the province of Kunduz that were not under Taliban control.

    The Taliban’s latest advances toward the provincial capital named Kunduz resulted in the freeing of 900 prisoners, widespread theft within state and foreign institutions and fires set in their buildings, the source said.

    Witnesses on the ground contend that the Taliban’s recapture of the city of Kunduz was carefully planned.

    Hundreds of militants were divided into several groups, which took part in the release of prisoners and breaking into the provincial council, security office and the UNAMA United Nations assistance mission in Afghanistan, according to eyewitnesses. Other accounts claim that the Taliban gained control of private banks and set fire to a municipal radio station.

    The source cited a local health department saying hundreds of civilians sought medical attention and were hospitalized in critical condition.

    "Their numbers are growing, there is no space in hospitals and the wounded cannot be transported to other cities," the reporter said.

    The Afghan Ministry of Public Health said earlier on Tuesday at least 16 people have been killed and 172 injured during the Taliban offensive on Monday.

    The Taliban insurgency has persisted in Afghanistan despite the US and NATO’s 13-year war on terrorism in the country.

    Related:

    Afghan Forces Prepare to Drive Taliban From Recently Captured Kunduz City
    Taliban Launch Fierce Assault on Afghan City Kunduz
    Taliban, Government Forces Must Protect Civilians in Afghanistan
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    Taliban, Afghanistan, Kunduz
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