News You Really Need To See: “Afghan Taliban Seize Kunduz City Center in Landmark Gain”

“Afghan Taliban Seize Kunduz City Center in Landmark Gain”

Reuters, September 28, 2015

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/28/us-afghanistan-attack-idUSKCN0RS0A820150928

Taliban fighters on Monday battled their way into the center of Kunduz, a city in northern Afghanistan, and seized the provincial governor’s office in one of the militant group’s biggest territorial gains in 14 years, witnesses and officials said.  In a major setback for Afghan forces, who abandoned a provincial headquarters for the first time since 2001, the insurgents raised their white banner over the central square and freed hundreds of fellow militants from the local jail. … It was the second time this year that the hardline Islamist movement has besieged Kunduz, a city defended by Afghan forces battling largely without NATO’s support after it withdrew most of its troops last year.  The insurgents launched a surprise, three-pronged offensive before dawn, and by evening had captured the governor’s compound and provincial police headquarters, said Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the hardline Islamist movement.”

Quickie analysis:  It’s hard to see the Taliban engaging in serious peace negotiations when battlefield victories are coming this easily.

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