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U.S. Airstrike Seeks To Bolster Afghans In Fight To Retake City From Taliban

A Taliban fighter sits on a motorcycle with a Taliban flag after the insurgents overran the strategic city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan.

A day after the Taliban seized control of the city of Kunduz, a military operation is underway to try to retake the provincial capital in northern Afghanistan. The U.S. carried out an airstrike to aid coalition and Afghan forces, according to NATO.

The fall of Kunduz is seen as "the Afghan Taliban's biggest victory since they were ousted from power 14 years ago," NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

Philip filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The U.S. and NAO officially ended their combat mission to Afghanistan last year. But the American military were back in action this morning, after the fall of the strategically important Kunduz to the Taliban.

"A spokesman said the U.S. carried out an airstrike to eliminate a threat to Afghan security forces. Those government forces withdrew to the city's outlying airport, when the Taliban stormed into the city from several directions yesterday, seizing key government buildings and freeing hundreds of prisoners from the city jail.

"The Afghan government has sent in reinforcements — and says it's started an operation to regain control of the city. The Taliban's invasion of a major urban center is reinforcing concerns about the capability of Afghanistan's Western-trained forces."

According to Pajhwok News, Taliban fighters "killed some female medics and tribal elders in the city." Photos that were circulated showed some insurgents driving seized Red Cross vehicles or posing for pictures in front of a U.N. truck.

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