Residents Flee Kunduz as Fighting Intensifies

Residents Flee Kunduz as Fighting IntensifiesResidents Flee Kunduz as Fighting Intensifies

Thousands of residents have fled or face deteriorating conditions as fighting between Afghan forces and Taliban militants entered its third day in the embattled northern city of Kunduz, officials said on Wednesday.

Taliban fighters easily penetrated the city's defenses on Monday, raising questions about the capacity of the western-backed security forces, even as international donors meet in Brussels to approve billions of dollars in new development aid for Afghanistan, Reuters reported.

"Most civilians have abandoned Kunduz city and have gone to neighboring districts or provinces," said Kunduz provincial governor, Asadullah Amarkhel. "There is no electricity, no water and no food. Many shops are closed."

Government troops, backed by US special forces and airstrikes, have made slow but "significant" progress in clearing the city, said Kunduz police chief Qasim Jangalbagh.

He acknowledged, however, that the situation remained dangerous for many residents.

"There are security problems in the city," he said. "People do not have enough food, water and other needs so they are evacuating the city to go to safe places.”


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