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Heavy Fighting in Kunduz
International

Heavy Fighting in Kunduz

Afghan forces fought back a renewed series of attacks on Kunduz, killing dozens of Taliban fighters, officials said on Sunday as insurgent forces stepped up their bid to retake the northern city that they captured briefly last year.
The attack on Kunduz, involving hundreds of insurgent fighters, has intensified just days after the Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive, aimed at driving out the Western-backed government in Kabul, Reuters reported.
The Taliban's brief capture of Kunduz last year underlined both their growing strength and the lack of readiness of Afghan security forces fighting largely on their own since the NATO-led international coalition ended its combat operation in 2014.
Attacks overnight appeared aimed at cutting off Chardara district on the southwest outskirts of the city, which insurgents used as a base in last year's attack, with several checkpoints targeted, Kunduz police chief Qasim Jangalbagh said.
"They wanted to cut the road which connects the district to Kunduz city to stop us sending reinforcements," he said.
In addition, he said a major attack was driven back at Charkh Ab, to the east of Kunduz, as Taliban forces sought to stretch the city's defenses. Casualty estimates provided by Afghan officials varied slightly, with Kunduz police saying 49 Taliban fighters had been killed and another 61 wounded, while the defense ministry said 38 were killed and 13 wounded over the past 24 hours.
A police spokesman said four members of the security forces were killed and 11 wounded.

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