News - Afghanistan
At least 40 Taliban insurgents, including six foreign militants, were killed in a joint Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) operation in northern Kunduz province on Sunday, local officials said.
Twenty other insurgents were injured in the attack.
The operation was launched in Gor Tepa area in Kunduz city, Qala-e-Zal and Imam Sahib districts. Fighting is still underway between the ANSF and Taliban insurgents, head of the Media Office of Police in Kunduz, Sohrab Samim said Sunday afternoon.
The fist clash took place in Gor Tepa in the city, the second clash happened in Qala-e-Zal and the third in Imam Sahib.
"The clash started yesterday and it is continuing. Afghan security forces have also suffered casualties but no details as yet," Samim said, adding that special forces reinforcement from several provinces have arrived in the area to fight the insurgents.
So far there are also civilian casualties, he added.
The six foreign militants who were killed in the attack come from the northwestern Faryab province, four of them were from Tajikistan and two were Chechens, according to officials.
The insurgents have taken control of a number of police posts in Imam Sahib after the attack and the police force has been moved back, the officials said, adding that more troops have arrived in the city and the situation is expected to be brought under control soon.
Qala-e-Zal is one of the most insecure districts of the province. The clash comes after the Taliban on Friday announced the start to their spring offensive.
This year's fighting season is expected to be intense as foreign troops ended their 13-year combat mission at the end of last year after handing over full security responsibility to the Afghan security forces.
However, the foreign troops continue to train and support the Afghan forces.