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    Taliban Defeated in Afghan Kunduz, Baghlan After Fierce Battles

    © AFP 2019 / BASHIR KHAN SAFI
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    KABUL (Sputnik) - The Taliban movement has been defeated in Dasht-e-Archi in the Kunduz province and in the Guzargah district in Baghlan province in northern Afghanistan.

    On the tenth day of the confrontation in Kunduz, fighting continued at two out of three city gates and Taliban militants were forced to retreat from the city after they had attacked some districts.

    The Taliban were able to capture the Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz on Sunday and launched an attack on the Imam Sahib Bandar area, which blocked the roads of Qala-e-Zal, Sher Khan Bandar and Imam Sahib districts.

    Kunduz residents are worried about the situation and do not know whether to escape from the city or stay in their homes.

    "Today is the tenth day of fighting in the Kunduz city, the fighting continues and has caused many casualties, and people have been deprived of their daily lives," Akbar, a resident of Kunduz city, said.

    The day before, militants in the Khanabad district also put up a fight for a few hours and then were forced to retreat by Afghan forces.

    Fighting continues in Qala-e-Zal and Imam Sahib districts.

    The acting governor of Kunduz, Najibullah Omar Khel, said the government forces won in the confrontation, and that the Taliban have withdrawn from the city.

    "The Taliban's attacks on Kunduz are frequent because the province is of strategic importance to the Taliban," Khel said, adding that the Taliban wanted to increase its activity in Kunduz to then use this province to enter all the northern provinces, but Afghan forces were defeating the group.

    Fighting has also intensified in the eastern Baghlan province, where the Taliban were forced to retreat from Pul-i-Khumri district, but the local highway is still closed for people.

    Taliban said on Sunday that they had seized the district of Guzargah after a fierce battle.

    The acting ministers of interior and national defence have travelled to Baghlan on an unannounced visit to assess the conduct of war.

    National Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid said that he would launch an operation against the Taliban that would destroy the group.

    "We are launching the operation to clear areas around Baghlan that will not affect Pul-i-Khumri and highways. We cannot predict how long the group will resist, but we are serious," he said.

    Meanwhile, acting Interior Minister Massoud Andrabi has again emphasised the need to strengthen highway security posts.

    "We have come from Kabul and the officials here have shared their shortcomings and problems with us. We know the priorities. We will take serious steps to equip the Afghan forces to fight against the Taliban," the minister said.

    The northern provinces and the Kabul highway have been closed for the past week and have been open for two days to civilians. The Taliban still pose a serious threat to the highway.

    The clashes in northern Afghanistan come after last month’s unsuccessful negotiations between the Islamist movement and the United States in Doha, as well as before the presidential election scheduled for late September.

    Tags:
    Taliban, Afghanistan
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