Afghans counter Taliban offensive in northern Kunduz province

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The government is anxious to prevent Kunduz city from falling to the Taliban

Government forces in northern Afghanistan have launched a counter-offensive against the Taliban, after they took control of a key district.

Chardara district is just a few kilometres from the provincial centre of Kunduz, and a major road to the capital Kabul runs through it.

A Taliban website has shown militants at a captured police post in Chardara.

Meanwhile the government says it has taken back another district, Yumgan in Badakshan province, from the Taliban.

Chardara local official Muhammad Yusuf Ayubi told AFP news agency that the district had fallen to the Taliban after hours of fighting, adding that 12 soldiers had died and 17 were wounded.

Last month tens of thousands were displaced after the Taliban moved into the same area.

The government believes that there are many foreign fighters allied to Islamic State fighting alongside the Taliban here.

Militant violence has increased across the country since the departure of most US and Nato forces last year.

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