Taliban Takes Control Of Large Swathe Of Kunduz's Qala-e-Zal

Kunduz-20-July-2016

Taliban insurgents have reportedly taken control of most parts of Qala-e-Zal district of northern Kunduz province after an almost three-day battle with security forces, local officials said on Wednesday.

Scores of families fled the district after dozens of Taliban insurgents attacked Qala-e-Zal early Monday and started clashing with security forces, said officials.

One local official said that the battle is now close to police headquarters in the capital of the district.

But Masoum Hashemi, a police official said: “The Taliban was driven back and Aqtepa bazaar (the district center) is under our control. We have security posts around the district governor’s compound and our personnel is highly motivated.”

Meanwhile, some security forces who were on the battle field said the Taliban is very well equipped and they have heavy weapons.

“The Taliban have hidden in houses but the resident fled after the attack. We will target them in every house,” a security force member, Nematullah, said.

Miriwais, another security force member, said: “They [Taliban] have equipment. They are attacking with mortars and they also have Humvee and Ranger vehicles”.

Mahbubullah Saeedi, the district governor, has meanwhile called for reinforcement troops to help take control of those parts of the district that fell to the Taliban.

“We need air support and security forces to launch a military operation in the whole district,” he said.

Qala-e-Zal is one of the remote districts of Kunduz province.

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