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Afghan forces bid to recapture key city from Taliban

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Kabul: Major clashes were reported between security forces and Taliban militants in the north Afghan Kunduz city on Tuesday as government forces tried to recapture the city that the insurgents overran a day ago, media reported.

According to initial reports, the security forces had succeeded in pushing back the militants from several areas of the strategic northern coty but still did not have control of the entire city, Khaama press reported.

However, the interior and defence ministries, in separate statements, expressed confidence that the city would be soon cleared of the militants.

Afghan army deputy chief General Murad Ali said the Afghan security forces retreated from Kunduz city the previous day to prevent civilian casualties.

The security forces could not respond with full force as Taliban had taken positions inside houses and markets, he observed.

Taliban launched coordinated attack on Kunduz city on Monday morning and by the evening they had taken control of several parts of the city.

After taking control of the prison in the city, Taliban insurgents released hundreds of inmates including many terrorists, the report said.

Kunduz was the first provincial capital to fall to the insurgents after 2001 when the Taliban were ousted from power in Afghanistan.