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Kunduz comes under Taliban attack

Taliban militants have launched a co-ordinated attack on the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, officials say.

The militants attacked from four sides of the city in the middle of the night.

Mahmood Danish, spokesman for the provincial governor, said Afghan forces had repelled the attack.

The attack began in the early hours at the southern and eastern approaches to the provincial capital where the militants were engaged in battles with government forces, he said.

Two Afghan army helicopters were flying over the city, which was deserted, with streets empty and shops closed.

Almost exactly a year ago, the Taliban briefly overran Kunduz, making it the first urban center to fall to the group since the collapse of their regime in 2001.

Kunduz was briefly captured by the Taliban last September – the first time the insurgents had taken a major city – but government forces, backed by Nato, recaptured it within days.

In southern Helmand province, militants have also taken a strategically important district to the south of Lashkar Gah, killing the local police chief, officials say.

A number of other police casualties were also reported.

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