Afghan Ministry of Defense on Thursday accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of being behind the Kunduz siege and said that the battle is still being led by the spy agency.
Afghan National Army deputy chief of staff Gen. Murad Ali Murad, who is in Kunduz, said that the battle was planned and executed from Pakistan by the ISI.
The interior ministry meanwhile said that although parts of the city has been retaken there is still some fighting between insurgents and security forces.
TOLOnews reporter Sharif Amiri, who is on the outskirts of the city, reports that the situation appeared calm by late Thursday afternoon as no firing was heard. However, he was not allowed to enter the city as security forces warned that Taliban insurgents are still hiding in residential homes.
Reports have however emerged of residents in the city living in dire conditions, with no electricity, water and a severe shortage of food. However, hundreds have fled to neighboring provinces.
Earlier today officials called on government to assist the displaced people and seek help from aid agencies.
Addressing a press conference, Parliament’s Speaker of the House Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said Thursday that a team has been appointed to investigate the collapse of the city to the Taliban.
He said one of the possible reasons for the collapse of the city was that the Kunduz governor Omar Safai was irresponsible and inexperienced and he failed to get people to stand by and support security forces. Another reason, he said was the delay in a planned military operation.
Exact casualty figures are still however not clear but it is believed that at least 300 people, excluding insurgents, have been injured in the assault that started on Monday.
The MoD’s claims meanwhile came just a day after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said his country will continue to help promote peace in Afghanistan but needed cooperation from the Afghan government.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sharif said: “Pakistan made strenuous efforts to facilitate the process of Afghan reconciliation.”
“Dialogue did open between the Afghan government and the Taliban, which was an unprecedented first. But it was unfortunate that certain developments stalled the process. Thereafter, militant attacks intensified, which we unequivocally condemn,” he said.