KUNDUZ, AFGHANISTAN: The Taliban launched an assault on Kunduz in northern Afghanistan Monday, one year after briefly taking over the city in a lightning offensive, an AFP correspondent said, describing intense fighting.
The attack began in the early hours at the southern and eastern approaches to the city where the militants were engaged in battles with government forces, he said.
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Two Afghan army helicopters were flying over the city, which was deserted, with streets empty and shops closed. The attack comes just over a year after the Taliban overran the city, the only provincial capital to have fallen into their hands since they were ousted from power in 2001.
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Government control of the city has been shaky ever since. After seizing Kunduz on September 28, 2015, the Taliban held the city for two days and eventually announced they were withdrawing from the outskirts on October 15.
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The United Nations said that battle left 289 people dead and hundreds more wounded. A US airstrike during the battle to dislodge the jihadists hit a hospital operated by aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres on October 3, killing 42 people including patients and medical staff.