Taliban insurgents have overrun the northern Afghan city of Kunduz. Seizing the city before dawn, militants took control of government buildings and were poised to attack the airport.
Among their first objectives was to release Taliban inmates from the city’s prison. In sum, over 500 inmates were freed.
Prior to being driven into insurgency by the combined forces of the United Islamic Front (Northern Alliance), U.S. Special Operations and members of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Kunduz was center of Taliban activity.
The re-taking of Kunduz marks the first provincial capital re-captured by the Taliban since 2001.
A Taliban statement referred to Kunduz’s fall as an “immense conquest,” and Kabul should “openly admit its defeat.”
“With the capturing of the police compound and governor’s office in Kunduz, the whole province fell to our hands and our fighters are now advancing towards the airport,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on his Twitter account.
An Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, admitted: “Most of Kunduz city was controlled by the Taliban, and Afghan forces were regrouping at the airport.
On Tuesday morning, Afghani President, Ashraf Ghani announced Afghani troops had re-taken parts of the city and key government buildings. Local police claimed 80 Taliban rebels were killed in fighting over the past day.
We are now learning the catastrophic effects of leaving Afghanistan too early.
[BBC] [Photo courtesy Al Jazeera]