Afghanistan repels major Taliban attack, 50 militants killed

April 15, 2016 6:28 pm

This October 1, 2015 file photo shows Afghan military personnel walking near the airport during fighting between Taliban militants and Afghan security forces in Kunduz. (AFP photo)

An operation by military north of the country has left dozens of Taliban militants killed as Taliban’s dream for capturing a major city in the area faced a “jaw-breaking” response.
Abdul Wasay Basil, spokesman for the Kunduz provincial governor, said on Friday that more than 50 Taliban militants were killed after the Taliban launched an attack in the provincial capital of the same name.
The official said at least 60 Taliban fighters were wounded and that clashes were ongoing in the city as well as in six provincial districts.
Afghan Army in Kunduz reported attacks on Afghan security forces early Friday morning as part of the Taliban’s annual spring offensive which started on Tuesday and normally marks the start of “fighting season” in Afghanistan.
Kunduz governor Asadullah Omarkhil said in a video statement that Taliban “faced defeat by the Afghan security forces,” adding that the security situation in Kunduz is “absolutely normal” at the moment.
“They dreamed of capturing the city of Kunduz, but they faced a jaw-breaking answer from Afghan forces,” he said.
Taliban briefly captured Kunduz last year, marking the militant group’s biggest victory since it was toppled from power in 2001. The blitz had raised serious questions about the capability of Afghan forces in establishing security on their own. Kabul says it lost a total of 5,000 troops in fight against militants last year.  
An initiative for holding peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban hit a snag last year after the broke about the death two years ago of Taliban leader and founder Mullah Omar. Hopes were high that the talks, mediated by Pakistan and attended by the United States and China, could end in a lasting peace in a country reeling from years of war and instability.
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