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Afghan Force Says It Has Retaken Kunduz From Taliban

Smoke rises in Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday. Government officials say their forces have retaken the strategic northern city from the Taliban.

Three days after Taliban fighters swept into Kunduz, Afghanistan's government says its troops have retaken the strategically important northern city, but reports suggest the fighting is not yet over in the city.

NPR's Philip Reeves, who's based in Pakistan, reports for our Newscast unit:

"Officials and senior army officers are saying their troops are now in control of the city, after fighting their way back in overnight. They set out, they say, from the outlying airport, and were supported by U.S. airstrikes and NATO special forces advisers.

"The Taliban is denying that they've lost Kunduz and say that their fighters are still in the city and engaging with government forces; residents report the sound of gunfire."

The success of the Taliban's operation — in which the militant group took over a city with hundreds of thousands of residents — is being seen as a new warning about the ability of Afghanistan's government, and its U.S.-trained forces, to control the area around Kunduz.

As Eyder noted for the Two-Way Wednesday, the Taliban set up ambushes along the route traveled by government reinforcements, further complicating the Afghan military's attempts to retake the city.

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