The Taliban launched multiple attacks in Afghanistan on Tuesday, including on a strategic tunnel in the Hindu Kush mountains that links the capital, Kabul, with the country’s north and south, officials said.
The attacks marked what may be the first uptick in violence since the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ended in early July. Violence typically takes a downturn during Ramadan’s dawn-to-dusk fasting. The Taliban are widely expected to launch a ferocious fight during the height of summer, though Afghan and U.S. military officials have noted that campaign has been slow to start.
In the northern province of Kunduz, local police commander Nabi Ghichi said that hundreds of Taliban gunmen have been attacking the Qalay-i-Zal district since before dawn on Monday and have not yet been completely pushed back. The assaults have been coming in waves, he said, adding that he has only 85 men and little logistical support.
Kunduz has been a particular target of the Taliban for the past year. Last September, they took the provincial capital, also called Kunduz, and held it for three days — the first time the insurgents succeeded in taking control of a major city since their regime was toppled in 2001.
Kunduz was threatened again in April, when the attacks were repelled by Afghan troops working with U.S. forces under new guidelines issued by President Barack Obama, allowing them to work more closely with Afghan offensive operations and utilize more air power.
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