Afghan forces face tough task in retaking Kunduz from the Taliban

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By Euronews
Afghan forces face tough task in retaking Kunduz from the Taliban

<p>The battle for Kunduz raged for a third day on Wednesday.</p> <p>But as Afghan government forces try to retake the city that has fallen to the Taliban, they are struggling to keep the militants out of the airport.</p> <p>Despite US airstrikes and reports of <span class="caps">NATO</span> special forces being deployed, this counter-attack does not look to be going according to plan.</p> <p>The capture of Kunduz on Monday marked the insurgents’ biggest victory since the US invasion 14 years ago that toppled the Taliban government.</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="fr"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Kunduz is the most important town to have fallen to the insurgents since 2001: <a href="http://t.co/5ELXLgx7iZ">http://t.co/5ELXLgx7iZ</a> <a href="http://t.co/aAQD7v9oSw">pic.twitter.com/aAQD7v9oSw</a></p>— The Economist (@TheEconomist) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheEconomist/status/649031346124378113">30 Septembre 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>Civilians who have fled to the airport, hoping they would be safe there, have now found themselves in the midst of a war zone.</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="fr"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Afghan crisis grows as counterattack fails; airport besieged <a href="http://t.co/gmA9sXtN9u">http://t.co/gmA9sXtN9u</a> <a href="http://t.co/rcAsdjUrKE">pic.twitter.com/rcAsdjUrKE</a></p>— The New York Times (@nytimes) <a href="https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/649055338973528064">30 Septembre 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>Pressure meanwhile is piling on President Ashraf Ghani, amid calls for his resignation – with Iqbal Safi, a member of parliament from Kapisa province, describing the Afghan government’s handling of the crisis as ‘shameful’.</p> <p>“It is shameful how they (the government) have dealt with the situation in Kunduz,” he said.</p> <p>“Ghani and Abdullah must step down,” Safi added during a televised session of parliament on Wednesday, in a reference to Ghani’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.</p> <p>Other lawmakers echoed Safi’s demands in a chaotic session, with parliamentarians shouting and calling for a gathering of elders to begin the process of impeachment.</p> <p>Ghani’s first year in office has been clouded by political infighting and escalating violence around the country, with the United Nations recording almost 5,000 civilian casualties in the first half of the year.</p>