Taliban fighters have made their way into the centre of the Afghan city of Kunduz on Monday, seising the central intersection where their flag was raised a year earlier in what was then the their biggest success of the 15-year conflict, Reuters reported.
Witnesses and police have told Reuters that the insurgents who entered the city in the early hours today were attacking the police headquarters and the governor's compound, even as some officials were seen fleeing tot the airport.
Unverified footage posted by the Afghan Taliban on social media shows fighters in Kunduz describing how they had captured army strong points and taken prisoners during a day of fighting, Reuters reported.
The fighters are reported to have slipped through a defensive security line that was set up around Kunduz, entering the city from four directions before clashes broke out, witnesses told Reuters.
Police spokesman Mahfozullah Akbari told Reuters that security forces were preparing to drive out the fighters, who had infiltrated the Khak Kani area in the city's southwest.
"The Taliban are inside some civilian houses and we have to carry out operations very carefully," he said.
The attack on Kunduz comes in only a day before an international donors' conference in Brussels, where donors are expected to pledge about $3 billion a year for Afghanistan through 2020.
Government forces in Afghanistan are reported to have control of no more than two-thirds of the country.