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RFE/RLive: The Capture of Kunduz

Afghan security forces make their way through a square in the center of Kunduz on October 1.
Afghan security forces make their way through a square in the center of Kunduz on October 1.

RFE/RLive: The Taliban's sudden capture of the northern city of Kunduz on Monday -- the extremist group’s biggest victory since being ousted from power 15 years ago -- sent shock waves throughout the country. Although Afghan forces, with the help of U.S. airstrikes, have quickly reestablished control over most of the city, the question remains -- is Afghanistan once again vulnerable to extremism? And what does the takeover of Kunduz mean for an already fragile Afghanistan?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Washington, D.C.--10:00 a.m. / Prague--4:00 p.m. / Kabul--6:30 p.m.

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Frud Bezhan covers Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran for RFE/RL. He has reported extensively from Kabul, and recently returned from a trip to northern Afghanistan. He is a contributor to The Atlantic and has been published in Defense One.

Michael Kugelman is senior program associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center, who has focused most recently on Pakistan's 2013 elections, India-Pakistan relations, U.S.-Pakistan relations, and security challenges in India. His work has been published by numerous major media outlets, including the New York Times, Foreign Policy, Bloomberg View, Politico,, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, Dawn, Express Tribune, Times of India, Indian Express, and Asia Times Online.

Bethany Matta is an American freelance journalist who has been based in Afghanistan for the past five years. She has spent most of this year in Kunduz covering the Taliban offensive that briefly saw the provincial capital overrun by insurgents this week. Matta has reported for Al-Jazeera English and her work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal and other publications.

Abubakar Siddique covers Afghanistan and Pakistan for RFE/RL, edits RFE/RL’s "Gandhara" website, and is the author of "The Pashtun Question: The Unresolved Key to the Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan." Having spent the past 15 years researching and writing about security, political, humanitarian, and cultural issues in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Siddique regularly shares his analysis with think tanks in London and Washington, D.C., and has published his research in numerous publications.