Amid an ongoing Taliban offensive to capture Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, the militia group has made use of at least one suicide bombing attack to pave the way for a renewed assault.
According to reports from both Taliban sources and local sources, the suicide bombing which struck a military point in the city, seems to have inflicted serious casualties on Afghan government forces.
The Taliban claims it killed 21 people and wounded another thirty; speaking to Afghanistan’s Ariana News, a local eye witnessed said that they saw 20 “personnel” laying dead at the location of the bombing.
It remains unknown whether or not the suicide attack was carried-out by a Taliban fighter wearing explosive belt or by a larger device such as a car bomb (SVBIED); the number of reported casualties suggests the latter method.
Following the suicide bombing, Taliban forces launched another infantry push to try and enter Kunduz which makes it the fourth such assault wave against government defenses around the city in just about as many days.
Earlier it was reported that a previous Taliban assault saw parts of Kunduz come under the militia’s control before a swift government counter-attack mostly drove insurgents back out onto the city’s limits.
However, it is now known that a top commander, one Colonel Sayed Hussaini, of Afghanistan’s security contingent tasked with defending Kunduz was killed during the the course of these events – he was a veteran of previous battles for the city.
Although suffering serious losses, Afghan government forces have managed to keep their defensive perimeter around Kunduz intact despite sections of it being temporarily overrun at times.
A key factor in this successful defense so far is the heavy involvement of pro-government tactical airpower assets including armed helicopters and warplanes.