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Afghan spokesman says government forces have retaken Kunduz, forcing Taliban to retreat

  • Afghan security personnel walk around a burnt out vehicle near Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. An Afghan official says government forces have retaken the strategic northern city of Kunduz, which was seized by the Taliban on Monday. The spokesman says it could take some days to "clear the city," but that Taliban forces have retreated. He says about 200 Taliban fighters have been killed. (AP Photo)

    Afghan security personnel walk around a burnt out vehicle near Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. An Afghan official says government forces have retaken the strategic northern city of Kunduz, which was seized by the Taliban on Monday. The spokesman says it could take some days to "clear the city," but that Taliban forces have retreated. He says about 200 Taliban fighters have been killed. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • A member of the Afghan security forces looks inside a government office, destroyed by Taliban fighters in Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. An Afghan official says government forces have retaken the strategic northern city of Kunduz, which was seized by the Taliban on Monday. The spokesman says it could take some days to "clear the city," but that Taliban forces have retreated. He says about 200 Taliban fighters have been killed. (AP Photos)

    A member of the Afghan security forces looks inside a government office, destroyed by Taliban fighters in Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. An Afghan official says government forces have retaken the strategic northern city of Kunduz, which was seized by the Taliban on Monday. The spokesman says it could take some days to "clear the city," but that Taliban forces have retreated. He says about 200 Taliban fighters have been killed. (AP Photos)  (The Associated Press)

  • Afghan men assist a wounded civilian in a street of Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. An Afghan official says government forces have retaken the strategic northern city of Kunduz, which was seized by the Taliban on Monday. The spokesman says it could take some days to "clear the city," but that Taliban forces have retreated. He says about 200 Taliban fighters have been killed. (AP Photo)

    Afghan men assist a wounded civilian in a street of Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. An Afghan official says government forces have retaken the strategic northern city of Kunduz, which was seized by the Taliban on Monday. The spokesman says it could take some days to "clear the city," but that Taliban forces have retreated. He says about 200 Taliban fighters have been killed. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

An Afghan official says government forces have retaken control of the strategic northern city of Kunduz, which was seized by the Taliban earlier this week, and have forced the insurgents to retreat.

Sediq Sediqqi, the Interior Ministry spokesman, says an operation "to clear the city is ongoing" and could take some days.

Earlier, he said a joint army and police operation was launched late Wednesday and after the push into Kunduz overnight, the "city was taken by 3.30 a.m." on Thursday.

He says ground forces moved from the Kunduz airport where they had massed into the city over roads that had been mined by the insurgents.

Sediqqi says around 200 Taliban fighters have been killed but did not provide a figure for government casualties.