- Title: U.S., Taliban near Afghanistan deal, fighting intensifies in north
- Date: 1st September 2019
- Summary: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (SEPTEMBER 1, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) INTERIOR MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, NASRAT RAHIMI, SAYING: "85 civilians were injured (During clashes between Afghan forces with the Taliban fighters in Kunduz city) and 20 of our security forces were martyred. Another 15 members of our security forces were wounded, including the police chief (of Kunduz)."
- Embargoed: 15th September 2019 12:25
- Keywords: Afghanistan Taliban peace talks peace deal fighting Kunduz
- Location: BAGHLAN, AFGHANISTAN / KABUL, AFGHANISTAN / KUNDUZ, AFGHANISTAN
- City: BAGHLAN, AFGHANISTAN / KABUL, AFGHANISTAN / KUNDUZ, AFGHANISTAN
- Country: Afghanistan
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Insurgencies,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA004AUTQU6F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Taliban fighters attacked Pul-e Khumri, in the northern province of Baghlan on Sunday (September 1) just a day after a major show of strength by hundreds of fighters who overran parts of Kunduz, a strategic city the insurgents have twice come close to taking in recent years.
The interior ministry said in a statement on Sunday that 20 Afghan security force members and five civilians were killed, and at least 85 civilians were injured in Kunduz city during clashes with the Taliban fighters.
While Kunduz was calm after clearance operations that had driven out insurgents, interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said, fighters had taken up positions in two areas of Pul-e Khumri and were battling Afghan security forces.
Afghan forces killed five gunmen and arrested two militants during the clearance operation in Pul-e-Khumri city, Rahimi said.
Local officials and residents said the city was locked down with Taliban fighters occupying positions around one of the main entry points into the center and cutting the main highway connecting Kabul with the north.
With talks in Doha close to wrapping up, the latest fighting underlined the Taliban's apparent determination to go into any deal from a position of strength on the battlefield.
It was also unclear whether the agreement would cover the full withdrawal of all 14,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan or how long a pullout would take.
More than 20,000 foreign troops are in the country, most serving as part of a NATO-led mission to train and assist Afghan forces. Thousands of U.S. troops are also engaged in a separate counter-terrorism mission fighting militant groups such as Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
(Production: Samargul Zwak, Hameed Farzad, Sayed Hassib)
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