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Wednesday
Sep302015

Struggle for Control of Afghan City Against Taliban Rages

STR/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Fierce fighting continues for control of one of Afghanistan's biggest cities as Afghan forces, backed by American airstrikes and advisors, attempt to retake Kunduz from the Taliban.

Despite U.S. airstrikes, Afghan government forces have failed to push the Taliban out of the city of Kunduz, the first to fall to the Taliban since the U.S. drove them from power in 2001.

Two days after seizing Kunduz, the Taliban are on the offensive, threatening the city's airport, where troops and civilians had retreated to believing it was safe.

Most of the reinforcements deployed from Kabul couldn’t reach Kunduz as Taliban have ambushed convoys of them en route.

The city's power has been cut for the past three days and people are running out of food and water.

Taliban members are searching house by house, looking for government employees. They have set up check points all over the city.

According to an Afghan security official, the Taliban has reached within roughly 110 yards of the Kunduz airport, where most government employees and others are taking shelters. The airstrike helped to push the Taliban back from the airport.

The Taliban have increased their attacks on different districts in neighboring Takhar province. Most main roads or supply routes towards Kunduz are blocked or under control of the Taliban.

The pressure on Afghan government and President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, who has been in office for one year, is mounting.

For their part, American military sources believe that while the Taliban has control of some buildings in the city, they don't have full control of the city as a whole or the hundreds of thousands of residents.

A senior U.S. military officer in Afghanistan told ABC News that the local police force has retaken control of the police station and the prison, two areas that had previously been overtaken by the Taliban.

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