Afghanistan Forces Defend Kunduz From Taliban


The Afghan government has launched a major offensive against Taliban forces near the north-eastern provincial capital of Kunduz. BBC reports:

The Taliban have come close to the city in recent fighting, leaving it cut off with tens of thousands of displaced. A BBC correspondent who has flown into Kunduz has heard gunfire and artillery exchanges not far from its centre.

Afghan officials say foreign jihadists trained by the Islamic State (IS) group are fighting alongside the Taliban. Provincial governor Mohammed Omer Safi told the BBC that the bodies of 18 foreign fighters including two women had been found.

Security forces and Taliban have been involved in a standoff for about a week after the insurgents launched an offensive on Kunduz at the end of April. The insurgents are currently said to be massed in Gul Tepa district on the southern outskirts of the city.