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Afghan Forces Await Reinforcements For Kunduz Counteroffensive


Afghan special forces arrived in Kunduz on September 29 to launch a counteroffensive to retake the city from the Taliban.

An expected Afghan government counteroffensive to retake Kunduz from the Taliban appears to have largely stalled as troops await reinforcements.

News reports say some 5,000 Afghan soldiers -- exhausted by three days of fighting with insurgents -- have massed at the airport on the edge of the city.

However, the arrival of reinforcements from neighboring Baghlan Province, south of Kunduz, has been delayed as insurgents have attacked convoys making their way to the city.

A U.S. Army spokesman, Colonel Brian Tribus, said there were two new airstrikes overnight on Taliban forces and that U.S. and NATO coalition advisers were at the scene "in the Kunduz area, advising Afghan security forces."

He added that, the coalition's special forces advisers were among NATO experts backing Afghan troops.

Meanwhile, Afghan lawmakers are calling on President Ashraf Ghani to resign over the fall of Kunduz.

The northern city of some 300,000 people is the first major urban center to be taken by insurgents since the Taliban was toppled in the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Ghani's deputy spokesman, Sayed Zafar Hashemi, says the president had ordered an investigation into how Kunduz fell so quickly on September 28.

He added that Afghan troops are making progress in retaking parts of the city.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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