Taliban in bid to retake key regions of Afghanistan; close in on northern city of Kunduz

Taliban in bid to retake key regions of Afghanistan; close in on northern city of Kunduz

[Ed. – This was only a matter of time, once we “ended the war” without regard to sustainability.]

Taliban forces were less than four miles from this strategic northern city Monday after seizing control of two key districts over the weekend, triggering fears that they could capture their first Afghan city since U.S.-backed forces toppled the hard-line Islamist regime in late 2001.

The government in Kabul has dispatched reinforcements, including Afghan special forces and their U.S. advisers and trainers, to try to repel the insurgents and rescue about 75 soldiers and police officers trapped inside their district base. But as of Monday evening, the Taliban remained in control of the districts, including one separated from Kunduz city only by a wide, brown river.

“It is a critical situation,” said Mohammad Omer Safi, the governor of Kunduz province.

Not since the Taliban’s collapse has the population of an Afghan metropolis faced such intimidation from the insurgency. …

Two months ago, the Taliban reached the edges of Kunduz city, only to be pushed back by Afghan forces. But in recent days, its fighters have surged again and now control large swaths in four of the six districts in the province.

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