Afghan Forces Retake Khanabad After Short Takeover By Taliban


Afghan security officials confirmed they had retaken control of Khanabad district late Saturday after it fell to the Taliban earlier in the day.

This comes after reports emerged Saturday that the insurgent group had also essentially closed off all three key roads leading into the provincial capital.

Khanabad fell to the Taliban early Saturday following heavy clashes with security forces overnight.

Members of the provincial council said the district had witnessed heavy clashes over the past few days.

On Saturday morning, dozens of Khanabad residents could be seen running from the district. Many were in vehicles while others were on foot. They were heading for Takhar.

In blocking major roads into Kunduz city – the Taliban effectively sealed off the capital.

Security forces have however been deployed across the city to thwart a possible invasion by the Taliban.

An emergency meeting to review the situation was reportedly held on Saturday evening between security officials.

Meanwhile, a number of security forces who retreated from the Khanabad area earlier in the day blasted government for not supplying them with enough weapons and food.

Soldiers fighting the Taliban in the district claimed Saturday that they have fought the Taliban for three days with light weapons and without food.

The Taliban managed to seize control of the district for a few hours on Saturday but battles also still continue to rage in Ali Abad district and on the outskirts of Kunduz city.

“All check points around us collapsed. We did not have sufficient weapons to fight and food to eat for four days. Finally our check posts collapsed and we evacuated the area and arrived in the center of Kunduz,” said an Afghan National Police (ANP) officer Serajuddin.

“I want to call on Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah not to shed the blood of the soldiers more than this, I suggest they put aside their internal disputes and show mercy on the soldiers and the nation and address our problems,” said Afghan National Army (ANA) officer Obaidullah.

Fighting between the Taliban and the security forces also continues in Toop Khana area near to the Kunduz airport while insurgents have also extended their offensives on parts of Ali Abad district.

“War is going on in Imam Sahib district and Dasht-e-Archi and Chardara, battles expanded in and around Khan Abad and Qala Zal,” said Assadullah Sadat, a member of the Kunduz provincial council.

“It seems that last year’s tragedy is going to happen again,” said another member of the council Safiullah Amiri, referring to last year’s fall of Kunduz city to the Taliban.

Residents in Kunduz province have also criticized the Afghan ministry of interior and ministry of not putting in place comprehensive security measures for the province.

“Taliban have captured Chahar Bandar area of Kunduz,” said a resident of Kunduz.

“Sons of the people are being killed, there is devastation and government does not take action,” said Shekib, a resident of Kunduz city.

However government has said that action is being taken.

“All security institutions are planning to attack the Taliban from four directions,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri.

“We will soon initiate clear operations in the localities to remove the opponents,” said Assadullah Omarkhail, the governor of Kunduz province.

“We have established strong security belts around Kunduz city. Insurgents will never be able to infiltrate the city,” said Masoom Hashemi, head of security of Kunduz police headquarters.

The development takes place just months after a report revealed that the number of Taliban fighters battling the security forces in Kunduz had increased radically.

Local authorities also said that the Taliban in the area have dozens of armored vehicles and heavy weapons.

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