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Taliban attack Afghan city while talking to the US about peace



KUNDUZ, Afghanistan – The Taliban launched an attack on the northern Afghan city of Kunduz from several directions, which they had occupied twice in recent years, although the insurgents appeared to be close to a temporary peace agreement with American diplomats.

] Residents said on Saturday morning that fierce fighting had taken place in several corners of the city since dawn, and that the streets had been mostly deserted headquarters in the city. They finally left the building, but stayed outside the headquarters and a nearby hospital.

He said that so far three bodies and 40 injured people had been taken to hospital, but that the actual toll in the city was probably much higher because fighting prevented ambulances from leaving the hospital to take in the wounded.

Security officials admitted that Afghan forces fought off attacks in at least three neighborhoods and that at least two police departments took fire from the Taliban. [19659002] "Hundreds of Taliban attacked Kunduz from three directions, and their attack was repelled by our security and defense forces," said Rohullah Ahmadzai, a cowardly spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense cowardly in civilian areas. Our forces are careful in their operations to avoid demanding civilian casualties.

Afghan Air Force aircraft flew over the city and carried out several strikes to advance the Taliban positions. Officials in the capital Kabul stated that several units of special forces were on their way to Kunduz to fend off the attack. The operation was largely Afghan, with support from US forces, an official said.

Kabul officials said more than 30 Taliban have been killed in air strikes and ground operations Use of residential areas to stage their attacks.

The Taliban published a video of a small group of Afghan police officers who surrendered to them. In the video, whose authenticity could not be verified independently, the insurgents call the officers, who are hiding in an outpost across the street, with gunfire in the background. The officers slowly emerge and give up their weapons when the Taliban tell them that nothing will happen to them.

In two previous cases in which the Taliban marched into the city of Kunduz, the Afghan forces were heavily dependent on air strikes. During the first attack on the city of Kunduz in October 2015, American planes hit a hospital operated by MSF known by the French initials Doctors Without Borders.

The residents of Kunduz were surprised by the attacks, rushing to store food and staple food on Saturday morning to find only a small number of stores that were open. Then even these shops closed their doors.

"Around 2 o'clock in the morning we heard heavy shots," said Rahmatullah Rahimi, 52, a Kunduz resident who sells firewood. "With every rocket our windows shook. Neither I nor our neighbors slept all night. How can you sleep with the sound of fighting? We try to see if we should escape or stay.

The attack comes when Taliban officials and US negotiators continue marathon talks in Qatar's Doha capital over the conclusion of a preliminary peace agreement. The talks were expected to resume on Saturday morning.

The agreement seeks to set a timetable for the withdrawal of remaining US and NATO forces in the country and pave the way for direct negotiations between the Taliban and the US government over the country's political future. But the violence in Afghanistan has increased, although the talks have continued.


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