Sun, 31 May 2020

Kabul [Afghanistan], Apr 13 (ANI): An offensive launched by the Taliban in Afghanistan's northern city of Kunduz on Saturday killed six people and injured more than 50 others.

Quoting Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, the head of the provincial council in Kunduz, Al Jazeera reported the Taliban fighters attacked the city from multiple directions in the small hours on Saturday.

On the same day, the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on a district headquarters in the eastern Nangarhar province late on Friday.

Two Afghan troops were reportedly killed in the incident, along with 27 Taliban fighters, according to Attahullah Khogyani, the governor's spokesman.

The offensive in Kunduz came hours after the group announced the start of Operation Fath or the so-called annual spring offensive.

Tolo News confirmed that the attack was launched on the outskirts of Kunduz city at 2 a.m. on Saturday, after quoting Enamuddin Rahmani, Kunduz police spokesperson.

However, some families were displaced as the sound of gunfire and explosions echoed from the city's outskirts.

"I am living in Chele Mazar area (on the outskirts) of Kunduz city. We have been displaced and clashes are ongoing," Sher Khan, a Kunduz resident, was quoted as saying.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's office on Saturday condemned "in the strongest words" the announcement of Operation Fath.

"The continuation of war is no one's interest," it said.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, too took to Twitter saying, "On behalf of the United States, I condemn this announcement of a spring offensive, and call on Pakistan, Qatar, and other nations that want peace in Afghanistan to do the same."The Taliban has continued to launch frequent attacks on security forces in Afghanistan despite holding several rounds of peace talks with the United States in recent months to end the 18 years of war.

Taliban officials are also expected to meet Kabul government representatives in Doha later this month. The group has however refused to speak officially with the Kabul government, dubbing it a "puppet" of the West. (ANI)

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