1st LD: 17 killed as gov't forces repulse Taliban attack on northern Afghan city

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 31, 2019
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KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- At least two Afghan security forces and 15 Taliban militants were killed as the Afghan security forces repulsed a Taliban attack on Kunduz city, capital of northern Kunduz province, on Saturday, a provincial government spokesman said.

"The clashes started roughly at 1:00 a.m. local time Saturday after militants armed with assault rifles, machine guns and rocket launchers attacked the city from three locations, but the security forces effectively repelled the attackers," spokesman Esmatullah Muradi told Xinhua.

Streets were deserted and most shops were closed on Saturday morning as sporadic clashes were ongoing on the outskirts of the city, 250 km north of the capital Kabul.

About 20 people, including a police district chief, were wounded in the clashes, according to provincial health officials.

"The militants tried to capture the city but they are failing. They are using people houses as fighting positions and they are using civilians as human shields," the spokesman added.

Fighter jets of the NATO-led coalition were hovering over the city in early hours of the day and several rockets firmed by militants struck the city, according to locals.

Two rockets hit the yard of the city's main hospital, damaging the building and a vehicle.

Taliban militants briefly overran the city twice since 2014 when Afghan security forces took security charges from NATO and U.S. coalition forces and the fresh attack came amid negotiations between Taliban representatives and a U.S. delegation in Qatar.

The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces remain in control of most of Afghanistan's population centers and all of 34 provincial capitals, but Taliban insurgents control large portions of rural areas, staging coordinated large-scale attacks against Afghan cities and districts since early April when the militant group launched a yearly rebel offensive. Enditem

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