Residents in a northern Afghan city under siege for the past week started coming out of their houses Monday as the army consolidated its control of the area, officials and residents said.
There was still sporadic fighting in some parts of Kunduz, after the government announced that its counter-offensive to re-take the city from Taliban insurgents had succeeded.
Taliban fighters had captured the provincial capital in a single day a week before, but the military attacked with the help and air power of US and NATO troops.
Local television Tolonews showed the Afghan army chief and other government officials Monday putting the national flag back up at the governor’s compound, which was under Taliban control for three days.
“All the city is under our control now. The shops have opened. People are walking outside. The police are setting up security check points again,” Kunduz police spokesman Sarwar Hussaini said.
He said government troops had largely cleared the Taliban from the city, searching for them house to house.
But Noor Mohammad, a resident from Qawa Khana area of Kunduz, said there was still some fighting in the city.
“Some of the shops have opened. Not every neighbourhood is secure. There are still sporadic fighting in some areas. Taliban are still seen in some neighbourhoods,” he told dpa by phone.
An investigation is under way to determine why a hospital in Kunduz run by medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was bombed during the campaign to retake the city over the weekend, killing over 20 people.