High-ranking security officials addressed a late night press conference in Kabul on Monday and assured the public that everything was being done to safeguard the people of Kunduz city and to retake it from the Taliban.
Kunduz, a key city in the north of Afghanistan, fell to the Taliban on Monday afternoon following over 14 hours of fierce fighting with local security forces.
The insurgents, believed to be in their hundreds, carried out a well-orchestrated and complex attack on the city and took control of strategic government buildings and facilities.
Addressing the public on Monday night, General Murad Ali Murad, commander of the Afghan ground forces said that sufficient reinforcement troops have been deployed to Kunduz.
Deputy Minister of Interior for Security General Ayoub Salangi was also present and said government was doing everything possible to normalize the situation.
He assured the public that troops have surrounded the city and that all necessary measures are being taken to safeguard civilians.
Murad meanwhile said that it has been a strategic tactic by the military not to storm the city because of the civilians. He said that the Taliban has entrenched themselves in residential areas and in the homes of locals.
Asked whether government had received intelligence ahead of time regarding such an attack, Murad said that they had but that the reports had been conflicting.
But he said that everything was being done to restore peace.
The fall of Kunduz comes on the eve of the National Unity Government’s one year anniversary in power. It is also the first time in 14 years that a city has fallen to the insurgents.
But the attack, that took place at 3 a.m local time, was massive and well executed. Attacking the city from within its limits, the Taliban also immediately closed off all four entrances into the city – preventing troops from entering and residents from fleeing.