Afghan forces retake district from Taliban

Story highlights

  • Taliban fighters grab a district but Afghan forces take it back, officials say
  • Afghan forces in Kunduz have been trying to hold off the Taliban

(CNN)After four days of heavy fighting with Afghan security forces, the Taliban temporarily seized control of a key district in the northern province of Kunduz on Saturday, a member of Parliament said.

Fatima Aziz, who represents Kunduz, blamed the loss of Khanabad district on a lack of reinforcement of government troops.
But later, Hejratullah Akbari, the Kunduz provincial spokesman, said Afghan forces had recaptured the region. At least 38 Taliban fighters were killed, Akbari said. Two Afghan police officers were wounded.
    Afghan forces have been in a desperate fight to hold off the Taliban for more than a year.
    In September 2015, Afghan officials admitted that the provincial capital, also called Kunduz, had "largely fallen into the hand of enemies" when Taliban insurgents seized the center of the city, including a hospital and a prison, where they reportedly freed more than 500 inmates. A month later, Taliban insurgents were pushed out by coalition-backed Afghan forces.
    Kunduz is the fifth largest city in the country. It's an affluent area in northern Afghanistan known for its trade ties. The main route to Tajikistan also runs through Kunduz province.
    Fighting continues in some areas of Khanabad district, Aziz said.
    Khanabad connects Kunduz to the neighboring province of Takhar. In a separate incident, in Takhar, a roadside mine blast killed five people and wounded three others early Saturday, according to Sonatullah Temor, the Takhar provincial spokesman.