Kunduz held by the Taliban
The city of Kunduz in Northern Afghanistan has been taken by the Taliban. This is the a huge victory for them no matter what the next few weeks brings. The featured image shows a Taliban fighter in the streets. From BBC:The capture of the Bala Hisar fortress came despite efforts by government reinforcements, backed by Nato airstrikes and special forces, to retake the city.It leaves the airport as the army's last stronghold.The Taliban overran Kunduz on Monday, their biggest military gain since they lost power in 2001.The Taliban had blockaded the Bala Hisar fortress for two days. Hundreds of Afghan security personnel were stationed there, and their fate was not clear.Late on Tuesday the Taliban tried to capture the airport as well, but two US air strikes halted their advance.Clashes went on through the night around Kunduz, and the provincial hospital was reportedly struggling to cope with the number of casualties.
The fall of Kunduz is a win-win for the Taliban, whatever happens now. Even if the insurgents are expelled in the army counter-offensive, they will leave with both booty and publicity.Taliban fighters emptied the coffers of banks in Kunduz, seized weapons, including armed vehicles, and also gained a propaganda victory.The seizure of one of Afghanistan's most strategic and richest cities has also increased the prestige of new Taliban leader, Mullah Mansour - those within the insurgent group will see him as someone who can deliver impressive victories on the battlefield.More information can be found at BBC.[mwi-cat-listing cat="94" ppp="4" cols="4" desc="false" type="view" btn_color="black" ]