Fierce Fighting Grips Capitals of Northern Provinces

Reports indicate that the Afghan security forces and the Taliban are engaged in fierce fighting in the capital cities of Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan provinces in the north of Afghanistan.

The Public Health Directorate in Kunduz said that 11 civilians were killed and 39 more were wounded in fresh spate of clashes in the city of Kunduz that started on Friday evening.

“A heavy fighting is underway. All the people have been displaced” said Hamida, a resident of Kunduz.

“We call on the government to start clearance operation to tackle this crisis,” said Abdul Saboor, a Kunduz resident.

Officials said Taliban attacks on the city of Kunduz were pushed back by Afghan forces.

“They wanted to take over Zakhel, Khakani areas, as well as, District 3,” said Haji Mohammad, Commander of the 2nd Division of Afghan Commando Unit in north.

“Taliban attacks were repelled. They sustained massive casualties,” said Najibullah Omarkhel, the acting governor of Kunduz.

In Badakhshan, police said Taliban attacks on the city of Faizabad were pushed back by Afghan forces.

“40 members of Taliban were killed deaths. They also have a lot of injuries,” said Ahmad Bashir Samim, governor of Badakhshan.

A group of Takhar residents, who have been displaced due to the conflicts, at a gathering in Kabul asked the government to pay serious attention to the province. Fighting is underway in the city of Taluqan, which is the only part of Takhar under the government’s control, the residents said.

“We are tired of this situation. We cannot keep silent anymore,” a civil society activist from Takhar Mohammad Zaman said.

“Where is our government? Where is accountability? Where is Ashraf Ghani? Where is Amrullah Saleh?” asked Fatima, a Takhar resident who attended the gathering.