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Taliban seize Kunduz, capital of Afghan province

Taliban seize Kunduz, capital of Afghan province

The Taliban have besieged Kunduz for weeks. Now the Islamists have taken over the city.

The northern Afghan city of Kunduz fell to the Islamic Taliban movement after fierce fighting. Three members of the regional councils confirmed to the German News Agency, Sunday, that the Islamists had occupied the most important government institutions in the city. The Taliban have besieged Kunduz for weeks. It has fallen into the hands of Islamists three times since 2015. In doing so, the Taliban took control of four provincial capitals within three days.

The provincial council announced, in the past two days, that the Islamists in Kunduz have intensified their attacks. Apart from a military base about three kilometers from the city center and the airport, the Taliban now controls the entire city. Government officials fled there. The people in the city had neither water nor food. They hid in their homes. The provincial capital has a population of about 370,000.

According to Reuters, a spokesman for the Afghan security forces said that very violent battles are taking place in Kunduz. Soldiers tried to defend the city. According to the Ministry of Defense, special forces have been deployed to retake the press offices that were won by the Taliban. The city is of strategic importance because it is located at the gateway to the resource-rich provinces in the north of the country and in Central Asia.

He also conquered Sar-i Pul

The provincial councils Asadullah Khurram and Mohammad Noor Rahmani confirmed in a statement to the German News Agency (dpa). According to the officials, the Taliban in Sar-e-Pul now have the most important government buildings under their control. All government representatives have retired to a military base about one kilometer away from the city. In the center of the besieged city, the Taliban were firing mortars at the base.

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Sar-i Pul has an estimated population of 180,000. The territory in which oil reserves are extracted, among other things, is bounded in the east by the provinces of Balkh with the capital Mazar-i-Sharif and in the north by the province of Jawzjan. Provincial councils said the government only controls the Balkhab district of the province.

On Friday, the small provincial capital of Zaranj at Nimroz on the Iranian border fell to the Taliban practically without a fight. This was followed on Saturday by the city of Sheberghan in Jawzjan in the north, the seat of power for controversial former warlord and former vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum, a prominent anti-Taliban figure.

Huge regional gains since the beginning of May

Since US and NATO forces began withdrawing in early May, the Taliban have made huge territorial gains in several attacks. They also occupied several border crossings. The US military mission in Afghanistan ends on August 31. According to the United States, the withdrawal is more than 95 percent complete.