Afghan forces retake control of Kunduz
KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan forces backed by U.S. air power expelled most Taliban insurgents from the northern city of Kunduz on Tuesday, protecting government buildings and retaking the central square after insurgents occupied it Monday.
Officials said they were still searching for insurgents and accomplices hiding in residential areas.
Fighting also continued for a second day in southern Helmand province, where Afghan forces drove Taliban attackers from the capital of Nawa district, but other insurgent squads attacked the capital of Khanshin district. In nearby Uruzgan province, Taliban forces launched attacks on roads leading to the capital, Tirin Kot, officials said.
The surge of scattered insurgent aggression created an impression of widening insecurity, Taliban persistence and military weakness, just as top Af-
U.S. commando killed on patrol
WASHINGTON — A U.S. commando has been killed in Afghanistan after being hit by a roadside bomb while on patrol with Afghan forces in a northeastern province bordering Pakistan, the U.S. military said Tuesday.
U.S. special operations forces have been conducting counter-terror operations with Afghan troops against Islamic State militants in Achin, Nangarhar province. The U.S. military said the service member died Tuesday from wounds sustained when the patrol triggered an improvised explosive device. The commando’s identity wasn’t yet released, pending notification of family. ghan leaders arrived in Brussels for an international conference where they hope to persuade donors to support the struggling government by pledging $15 billion over the next five years.
There have been indications from some donor nations that international patience with Afghanistan’s seemingly endless war is wearing thin. Peace talks with the Taliban collapsed last year.
The new assault on Kunduz was especially troubling because Taliban forces had captured the strategic city a year ago and held it for more than a week, dealing a major psychological blow to the U.S.-backed war effort.
U.S. military officials in Kabul confirmed that sporadic fighting was continuing in Kunduz, but they said the government is in control of the city. They said that one U.S. helicopter had fired “to defend friendly forces” and that other U.S. military assets had been brought to the area and were ready to assist Afghan forces. Afghan officials said three troops had been killed.
Taliban forces were also reported to have launched assaults in Baghlan province on Tuesday and cut off roads to Kunduz from there and other provinces, but officials said the insurgents were repelled.
An Afghan commando takes aim Tuesday amid fighting against Taliban militants.