At a trauma centre run by Medecins Sans Frontieres in Kunduz, six doctors remained on duty, scrambling to treat 150 patients on Monday night who crammed into offices and corridors.
It said that the majority of patients it has treated so far “had sustained gunshot wounds and surgeons have been treating severe abdominal, limb and head injuries”. He spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing retribution.
“There are no reinforcements yet in Kunduz, as the Taliban have destroyed parts of the Baghlan-Kunduz highway”, said Abdullah Danishy, a deputy governor of Kunduz.
The New York Times quoted Afghan government officials as saying US special forces “headed out toward the city with Afghan commandos”. Kunduz, a Taliban stronghold before the group’s fall from power in 2001, is the capital of the wider Kunduz province, which supplies half of the country’s rice and holds major roads connecting central and northern Afghanistan.
Police said 83 Taliban were killed in the United States action, a claim also denied by the Taliban. Still, according to BBC a Pentagon spokesman said the U.S. strongly believes that the Afghan military will manage to retake control of the city.
Meantime, Afghan political observers are of the view that government failure to recapture Kunduz city within days would encourage Taliban fighters to destabilize Kunduz’s neighboring Baghalan and Takhar provinces. “That said, they also maintain the right to defend”, Tribus said of the coalition forces. Individual Afghans are generally good fighters, but the Afghan military has struggled when conducting large operations and coordinating among security forces, as has become apparent in the Kunduz counterattack.
“Coalition special forces advisers, while advising and assisting elements of the Afghan Security Forces, encountered an insurgent threat in the vicinity of the Kunduz airport at approximately 1 a.m.”, he said in a statement.
In both cases, Western-backed security forces boosted with billions in US dollars in training and equipment crumbled in the face of sudden assaults from a smaller contingent, leaving observers wondering if the expense and effort was worth it.
Nabil told reporters Tuesday that there were 600 inmates in the detention center, including more than 100 “low-level” Taliban fighters. But he didn’t provide a toll specifically for Kunduz.
In a televised speech, Mr Ghani said the Taliban were using civilians as human shields.
We are aware the Taliban leadership has directed its forces to protect civilian lives and property, but there are disturbing signs that these commitments are being breached, the High Commissioner said.
Sayed Sarwar Hussaini, a spokesman for Kunduz’s police chief, told Reuters: “Hundreds of Taliban are killed and their dead bodies are on (the) streets”.
The options are said to be based on Campbell’s judgment of what it would take to sustain the Afghan army and minimize the chances of losing more ground gained over more than a decade of costly USA combat, The Associated Press reported.
In a sign that the military woes have political consequences, Afghan parliamentarians in Kabul called for President Ashraf Ghani and his chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, to step down.