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

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.