Local residents in Qala-e-Zal district of northern Kunduz on Monday helped security forces drive insurgents back from their district after an hour-long clash, local officials said Monday.
Officials said that Taliban insurgents attacked the district at 5:00am local time and took control of the district governor's compound for almost an hour before being ousted by security forces along with the help of local residents.
However, officials said that reinforments have arrived in Qala-e-Zal and that the Afghan air force is also supporting ground forces in ongoing clashes with the insurgents in some parts of the district.
Qasim Jangalbagh, the provincial police chief has also arrived in the area so as to lead police forces in fighting the insurgents.
TOLOnews correspondent Tariq Majidi, who is reporting from Kunduz, said Jangalbagh confirmed that insurgents have been driven back from Aqtiba, the capital of Qala-e-Zal district, and have sustained major casualties in ongoing fighting.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a statement early Monday said that Haqyar, a key Taliban commander and seven other insurgents were killed in clashes with security forces in Qala-e-Zal.
In addition, four other insurgents were injured in the attack.
The statement said that the clash took place after insurgents attacked police outposts, adding that "the bodies of insurgents and their weapons remained on the ground."
The statement did not provide details about casualties among security.
Qala-e-Zal is about 50km from Kunduz city. This latest bout of fighting comes on the heels of ongoing clashes in Dasht-e-Arch, Khan Abad, Ali Abad, Imam Sahib and other parts of the province. Heavy fighting in six districts out seven in the province has been ongoing for about five days.
Late last year, insurgents seized control of Kunduz city for a few days before being driven out by security forces. However, clashes in the city were ongoing for a few weeks after the city's sudden collapse.
Kunduz is a key northern province which borders with Takhar, Baghlan and Samangan provinces and also with Tajikistan.