World Bulletin / News Desk
The Taliban on Tuesday announced their withdrawal from Kunduz, two weeks after their stunning capture of the northern Afghan city that marked their biggest military victory in 14 years of war.
The tactical retreat after prolonged street battles comes as the insurgents make an unprecedented push to seize other big cities across multiple provinces.
The announcement comes days after the government claimed to have recaptured the city, where insurgents burned down government buildings, gunned down opponents and freed hundreds of prisoners.
"The (Taliban) ordered its mujahideen to withdraw from the main square, markets and government buildings to the outlying rural areas... in order to reinforce their defense lines and reserve their strength for effective future operations," the group said on its website.
The Taliban said that they were capable of retaking the city after the successful "conquest", during which various Afghan military equipment and government documents were seized.
Afghan soldiers, backed by NATO special forces and US air support, have been combing the city to flush out pockets of insurgents hiding in civilian homes.
As fighting abates, local residents are slowly emerging from their homes after days of crippling food, water and electricity shortages.
The fall of Kunduz on September 28 was a stinging blow to Western-trained Afghan forces, who have largely been fighting on their own since the end of NATO's combat mission in December.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Ekim 2015, 11:25