Kunduz Cleanup Operation Underway


A massive cleanup operation by government and other organizations was underway in Kunduz city early Monday morning – with the initial focus having been on removing bodies that littered the streets.

TOLOnews reporter Karim Amini, reporting from Kunduz, said that government officials and local security forces were also returning to their offices to start their own cleanup operations.

Scores of people were out on the streets but the majority were still holed up in their homes by mid-morning.

One resident said government should put out an announcement telling residents it is safe to leave their homes.

A number of shopkeepers had however come out to assess the damage that they had sustained during the week-long battle of Kunduz following its collapse to the Taliban last Monday.

One shopkeeper said: “Clashes have caused some damage to my shop but I have come to clean up and reopen for business.”

The streets were slowly coming to life as cyclists, motorists and pedestrians started venturing out.

The owner of a local restaurant said he too had returned to work and said fortunately he had not sustained any damage to his business.

A heavy presence of troops in the city was however testimony to what the locals have survived and all vehicles were being closely inspected by troops at checkpoints.

Some residents were also out buying basic foodstuffs and a few women have also been seen on the streets. One woman said she was on her way to a doctor – something that until now, residents have not been able to do.

Karim says that Kunduz residents want to get back to normal as soon as possible but for some it will take time.

One resident said that although security has been largely restored his ordeal is far from over as he lost everything he owned in the siege.

He said government should make a formal announcement that it is safe for residents to come out.

Another resident said: “Government must prevent such attacks in the future.”

A teenager, accompanied by relatives, told how they were all returning home after having fled the city last week.

An unknown number of people have however lost everything and calls for assistance have been put out over the past two days.

On Sunday, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said that it has collected more than $300,000 USD through a commission to help Kunduz residents affected by the recent crisis.

Wahidullah Mayar, spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) also said late Sunday that emergency surgical teams, trauma experts, medical supplies and medication had arrived in Kunduz regional hospital by road and air.

This comes after the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Kunduz was bombed in the early hours of Saturday morning. The death toll from the bombing was 22. Twelve MSF staff members and 10 patients, including three children were killed in the attack.

However, overall casualty figures have not yet been released except that security forces say over 400 Taliban insurgents were killed in the battle to retake the city.

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