KUNDUZ, AFGHANISTAN: Afghan safety forces on Tuesday repelled a fierce Taliban assault on Kunduz, officers mentioned, a strategic metropolis in northern Afghanistan that had briefly fallen to the militants twice previously.
Taliban fighters attacked a number of outposts of Afghan forces on the outskirts of town at round 1:00 am, triggering fierce preventing, a defence ministry assertion mentioned.
“With the support of air force their attack was repelled. Eleven Taliban were killed and eight wounded,” it mentioned, including that the preventing lasted for a number of hours.
Both sides have repeatedly clashed in rural areas in current months, however an try to enter a metropolis like Kunduz is seen as a critical escalation.
It follows a declaration by President Ashraf Ghani final week to renew offensive strikes towards the insurgents, after a string of brutal assaults.
The Taliban responded to the order by vowing to extend assaults towards Afghan safety forces.
During Tuesday’s preventing, the insurgents managed to briefly seize an Afghan military put up, killing one soldier, however it was shortly retaken by safety forces, Hadi Jamal, a military spokesman in northern Afghanistan informed AFP.
The Taliban weren’t instantly accessible for remark.
The rebel group briefly captured Kunduz, a strategic metropolis not removed from the Tajikistan border, twice earlier than — in September 2015 and once more precisely a 12 months later.
The newest assault on town got here a day after the Taliban killed at the very least seven Afghan intelligence personnel in a automobile bomb assault within the japanese province of Ghazni.
Last week, gunmen stormed a hospital in Kabul killing 24, together with moms and infants.
That assault, which triggered worldwide outrage, was adopted by a suicide bombing at a funeral which killed at the very least 32 mourners.
The Taliban denied involvement in these assaults, though Ghani blamed the militants and the Islamic State group for the bloodshed.
Officials say the assaults are a part of the Taliban’s undeclared spring offensive.
Violence has spiked because the Taliban signed a cope with Washington in February, below which Washington mentioned it might pull its troops in a foreign country.
The Taliban have carried out greater than 3,800 assaults and killed 420 civilians and wounded 906 since signing the cope with Washington, officers say.