Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani while reacting to the Taliban’s attacks on Kunduz province said that such actions are contrary to the agenda of Taliban leaders’ meeting in Doha.
The Presidential Palace in a press release said, “Today, by attacking the Kunduz city, the Taliban group damaged a number of local residential areas and attempted to spread fear.”
President has declared that the Taliban’s attacks were pushed back with the serious response by security forces.
According to the press release, President highlighted that Taliban have revealed their hostility to the Afghan people and their willingness to continue the war, targeting civilian and residential areas, public places, and by harming civilians.
While condemning the Taliban attack on Kunduz, Ghani pointed out that protecting the lives and property of citizens is one of the top priorities of the government which it is committed to.
Security officials reported that 12 Taliban insurgents were killed and 3 others injured in Nangarhar province.
The Ministry of Interior confirmed that, in the past 24 hours, 12 Taliban insurgents have been killed and three others injured in a joint clearance operation carried out by ANDSF in Azrako region, Surkh Rod District of Nangarhar.
The ministry added that ANDSF seized seven RPG-7 rockets and some amount of military equipment.
Minister of Interior said that top Afghan and NATO security officials arrived in Kunduz after Taliban Attacked the city.
Nusrat Rahimi a spokesman for Ministry of Interior, in a tweet said, “Acting ministers of Defense and Interior, Assadullah Khalid and Massoud Andarabi, have arrived in Kunduz province.
A few photos of, General Scott Miller, commander of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission and United States Forces in Afghanistan have been released, confirming their presence in the city.
Earlier today, the Taliban group launched large scale attacks from three directions on Kunduz at around 01:30 AM. The spokesperson for ministry of Interior said that currently the situation is under control of Afghan security forces.
The spokesman to the President, Sediq Sediqqi has said that Taliban still do not believe in peace and do not accept the peace opportunity that the government and US is providing.
During a press conference today in Kabul, Sediqqi said that the Taliban attacks starkly contrast to what they are talking about in Qatar.
He added that the Taliban’s attacks on civilians in the outskirts of Kunduz have shown a clear hostility to the Afghan people, and the attack will not remain unanswered, heavy casualties are now being inflicted on the Taliban.
The President’s spokesman emphasised that the security forces are trying to thwart the threats but the Taliban has displaced civilian houses.
“Whatever is underway in Doha in the 9th round of talks should be result oriented. Khalizad will come to Kabul to clarify on the negotiations,” Sediqqi said.
According to him, the end result of the talks should ideally be a ceasefire in the current scenario and direct talks between the Taliban and the government.
“The Doha talks relates to the future of Afghanistan. Our red line is republican and will not be changed,” he added.
He pointed out that the Taliban and the terrorist groups such as ISIS-K threaten the common interest of Afghanistan and need a common solution.
At least 34 Taliban insurgents were killed in Kunduz province, security officials said.
Interior Ministry said that air and ground raids are ongoing in Kunduz in order to be cleared from the Taliban’s presence.
So far, eight Taliban insurgents have been killed during ground operation of the ANDSF in the vicinity of the Kunduz City and 26 more insurgents killed in airstrikes carried out by AAF in Pul Shinwari, Zakhil, Kala Qaw & Qahwa Khana regions of the Kunduz City, the ministry said.
Ministry of Interior added that Special Police Unit has also reached Kunduz City and the clearance operation is underway in several parts of the city.
Meanwhile, Taliban group launched massive attacks from multiple directions on Kunduz at around 01:30AM today and fighting is still underway.
President Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi in a tweet reassured that, “Security forces are repelling the Taliban attack on some parts of Kunduz city,their top priority is to protect the civilians. As always, the Taliban have taken positions in civilian areas.”
As of now, there is no report about civilian and security forces casualties. Additionally, Taliban group claimed that they have taken over the Kunduz provincial health department building.
Taliban insurgents unleashed massive attacks on Kunduz city at around midnight today. Clashes are still underway, as per local officials.
Ghulam Rabbani Rabbani, member of Kunduz provincial council told Reporterly,“Taliban group launched attacks from multiple directions on Kunduz at around 01:30am today and fighting is still underway”.
He added that because of the massive fighting, there is no report about causalities of civilian and security forces.
Afghan and NATO air-forces have arrived at the area, Rabbani added.
Meanwhile, President Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi in a tweet said, “Security forces are repelling the Taliban attack on some parts of Kunduz city; their top priority is to protect the civilians. As always, the Taliban have taken positions in civilian areas.”
Kunduz Police command in a statement said that security forces are repelling Taliban assaults and added that Taliban suffered heavy causalities.
Zabihullah Mujaheed, Taliban spokesperson in a tweet claimed that they have captured Mandi and Berinji Bazar of Kunduz city and said several outposts of security forces fallen to Taliban.
As the US and the Taliban continue to seek an agreement in Doha that would end the 18-year war in Afghanistan, a US service member was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan on August 29, NATO’s Resolute Support mission said in a statement on Friday.
In accordance with US Department of Defence policy, the name of the service member is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete.
The death brings the toll of US military to be killed in the incidents in Afghanistan to at least 15 so far this year.
NATO did not immediately provide any additional information.
Additionally, on August 21, two US Army commandos were killed in action in Afghanistan.
The US has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission who are training, advising and assisting their Afghan allies.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump on Thursday said that the United States will keep a permanent presence in Afghanistan, with 8,600 troops initially, even after a deal is reached with the Taliban.
Afghan local officials said Taliban insurgents started their attacks on parts of Kunduz city at around 01:30am today and clashes are still underway between Taliban and security forces.
Reports suggest that clashes are now raging in several security outposts, including the Qahwa Khana, Se Sad Family, PD2, Pol-e Hindusosan , Pol-e Safid and various parts of Kunduz City.
Kunduz police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini on his Facebook page assured Kunduz residents of the readiness of the security forces against the insurgents.
Two rockets have reportedly hit the courtyard of the Kunduz provincial hospital and a vehicle was set on fire.
Sources at the Kunduz provincial hospital say civilians and military casualties have been transferred to the hospital with no exact figures.
This comes as the clashes are intensely underway in Se Darak area and PD1 of Kunduz city.