Both the Afghan government and the Taliban have claimed control of the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, and the lives of some citizens trapped in the city amid fighting have been the concern of rights groups, the BBC reported Friday. After days of fighting in Kunduz, Afghan officials said Friday they are rounding up the last Taliban members in the city, which the militant group captured earlier this week, according to Agence France-Presse. Remaining Taliban members there were being hunted by Afghan forces, which were going from house to house.
Conflicting reports have emerged over whether Afghanistan or the Taliban was in control of the city, where some Kunduz residents were too afraid to go outside while the fighting was raging, even if they were injured and needed to go to the hospital.
“We cannot move from our houses and walk in the streets because the Taliban have taken positions in tall buildings, they are firing on everyone, civilians and military,” a man identified only as Shahir told AFP.
Rights groups are concerned about getting citizens essential supplies, such as food and water. The International Committee of the Red Cross told the BBC it is concerned about not being able to get medical supplies to citizens. Both Amnesty International and the Afghan government have accused the Taliban of various crimes, including murder and rape.
Despite Afghanistan’s recapturing of the city, Al Jazeera reported that Taliban insurgents had moved on to other northern provinces to continue fighting. The Taliban’s Kunduz takeover was their first successful takeover since 2001.
The Taliban collects taxes in areas under its administration. It is estimated that it makes about $300 million a year from poppy taxes.
The news that Afghan forces were rounding up Taliban members in Kunduz comes the same day U.S. military officials denied the Taliban shot down an American cargo plane Thursday near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, an act the Taliban claimed responsibility for, the Guardian reported. The crash of the C-130 cargo plane killed 11 people, including six U.S. troops.
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“With high confidence, it does not appear at this time that enemy fire was involved in the aircraft crash,” Maj. Tony Wickman of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram Air Field told the Guardian. “We have first responders on scene working at the crash site doing recovery operations.”