Militants Still Active In Outskirts Of Kunduz City

One hundred days after the fall of Kunduz, militants continue to create problems on the outskirts of the city.

Kunduz Police Chief Qasim Jangalbagh said on Tuesday that plans are however in place to bring an end to this problem.

Jangalbagh said: “Taliban militants are operating on the outskirts of the city but we have plans to stop them and eliminate them.”

Meanwhile, tribal elders and residents of the province warned that if government fails to ensure security in the city, the city might fall again to the Taliban.

The militants also have a widespread presence in different districts of Kunduz province, said locals and Dasht-e-Archi and Imam Saheb districts have reportedly turned into a hub for insurgents.

It is here that the Taliban not only keeps armored vehicles and other military equipment they seized during the fall of the city but the group has also allegedly established training centres in these districts.

Hajji Ghulam Sakhi, a tribal elder, said: “Security forces are operating inside the city but on the outside, there are Taliban militants.”

A number of army officials in the province said that they are still on the defensive especially as the Taliban has armored vehicles.

But another problem Kunduz locals face is the lack of telecommunication services at night.

“Our cell phone coverage is disconnected at 6pm in the evening until 6am in the morning,” said Farhad, a resident of Kunduz city.

In addition, residents said the militants wield so much power in the city that if telecommunication service providers do not follow their orders, the insurgents challenge their activities.

The acting governor of Kunduz, Hamdullah Danesh, said: “The decision to disconnect cell phone coverage was taken after night operations started by security forces in order to make our operations effective.”

Even though it has been 100 days since the fall of the city to the Taliban, the tragic incident still haunts its residents and living in peace, they say, is still a dream.

Samiullah, a resident of Kunduz city, said: “We cannot get out of the city but the president [Ashraf Ghani] speaks out about security in our province.”

After the fall of Kunduz city, President Ashraf Ghani paid a visit to the province and made a number of promises to residents. One of the main promises he made during his visit to Kunduz city was to bring back security to the city.

“The president has not fulfilled even one of his promises he made for Kunduz. We hope the government implements its promises,” said Muhammad Nasim, a tribal elder.

After the collapse of the city to the Taliban, Ghani assigned a fact-finding commission to explore reasons behind the crisis. The team, in a 200-page report, explained the reasons behind the collapse; however, the report has still not been made public. Instead, a 40-page abbreviated version was released.

To answer the question as that why the team did not release the report, Amrullah Saleh, head of the fact finding team, wrote on his facebook page that he did only what he was assigned to do.

Fatema Azizi, a lawmaker from Kunduz, said: “It is not clear yet where the report of the fact finding team is. The report said there are some figures in the Presidential Palace that were involved in the fall of Kunduz city. Why has government not yet taken a decision in this regard?”

Taliban seized control of Kunduz city in September 2015 for three days before security forces moved in and retook control of the city.

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