Afghan government forces have regained control of most of the besieged city of Kunduz, according to police and residents. Al Jazeera’s Qais Azimy, reporting from Puli Khumri in neighbouring Baghlan province, said some shops in the centre of Kunduz city opened on Monday for the first time since it fell to Taliban fighters a week ago.
Residents said it was the first time in eight days that they had not heard gun battles and were able to leave their homes to buy food and take stock of the damage done. But the fighting in Kunduz city, the capital of Kunduz province, has taken a heavy toll on civilians.
“They were living under heavy fighting during the past week – no water, no food and no electricity,” our correspondent said. “There are many dead bodies in the streets. Local residents are busy burying the bodies.”
Although government forces control most of the city, Taliban fighters “are still hiding in residential areas on the outskirts of the city” and in the city “in some houses”, he said. In addition to conducting house-to-house searches in the city, government forces have surrounded the outskirts of the city, where they will engage Taliban fighters in order to “avoid civilian casualties” in residential areas, he said.