Kunduz residents: Taliban threat has grown stronger

KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): The Kunduz provincial council on Thursday said the Taliban had equipped themselves with weapons and ammunitions after overrunning the provincial capital, posing a serious security threat to the residents.
But security officials insist Taliban have been defeated comprehensively. The city was overrun by the insurgents on September 28, but three days later, it was retaken by security forces. It took government troops around two weeks to clear the city of insurgents.
Amruddin Wali, provincial council’s deputy head, said after capturing Kunduz city the Taliban got access to weapons, ammunitions and vehicles of the security forces. He expressed concern the rebel threat to Kunduz had grown even stronger.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban had snatched hundreds of vehicles and advanced weapons from security forces to the Kunm locality in the vicinity of the provincial capital and Chardara district.
He said for fear of airstrikes the Taliban had hidden these vehicles. “Now our concerns have doubled. Earlier, the fighters were extorting money from people for buying weapons but after fall of Kunduz City, they have gained everything.”
He warned if the government was indifferent towards the city again, Kunduz might suffer worse than previous incident.
But the provincial police chief insists the Taliban have been defeated completely and are no longer capable of conquering the city again.
Brig. Gen. Mohammad Qasim Jangalbagh admitted the Taliban had captured a military depot in the city, but did not give details of how much weapons and ammunition they had taken away.
He said a military division and a zone named 808th Northeast had been approved by President Ashraf Ghani for Kunduz province and work on their structure was ongoing.
The police chief added apart from launching operations, the security forces also erected new check-posts and immediately house to house search operations would also begin.
Syed Alam, a resident of Kunduz City, said they had suffered a lot in the past one month and, with the winter approaching, the government should provide them with better security.
“We are still hearing sporadic gunshots at night. The government should put an end to this situation that has made people worried.”
After being displaced to Takhar province, he recently returned to Kunduz. In the past two weeks, he said, few families remained in the city and everybody else had been displaced.
According to security official, Kunduz City and Chardara district have been cleared of insurgents and the second phase of clearing operations would be launched in Dasht-i-Archi and Qala-i-Zal districts.

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