Afghan troops retake parts of Kunduz hours after Taliban captured area

An Afghan soldier stands guard in Kunduz province on April 16, 2016. Photograph:( Getty )

Reuters Kunduz, Afghanistan Aug 20, 2016, 10.19 PM (IST)
Afghan troops forced out the Taliban from a strategic district in the northern province of Kunduz, hours after the militant group had taken control of the district yesterday.

Fighting has sharply escalated in Afghanistan since the insurgency started spreading from its traditional strongholds in the south and east of the country to the once peaceful north.

The militants, waging a bloody insurgency to topple the Western-backed Kabul government, have intensified their attacks nationwide and tightened their grip on the besieged capital of Helmand province southwest of Kunduz in recent weeks. Khan Abad district, which is around 30 kilometres east of Kunduz city, fell to Taliban after the militants launched a pre-dawn attack on the district centre, according to local officials.

Afghan officials in Kabul say a lack of ammunition and few reinforcements are the main reasons for the district's fall to the Taliban, who are seeking to force the NATO-led coalition out of Afghanistan and bring in Islamic law.