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Tuesday, September 29

Long War Journal: Taliban claim to seize much more territory in Afghanistan's north

There are also reports of widespread Taliban looting in Kunduz. See TOLOnews report, Kunduz Residents Lose Millions As Taliban Go On Looting Spree 

Long War Journal
Bill Roggio
September 29, 2015
Taliban claims it seized 3 districts in Takhar province
If the loss of Yangi Qala, Ishkamish, and Bangi districts is confirmed, then it is a clear indication that the Taliban are serious about taking control of not just Kunduz city, but the entire Afghan north. The Taliban are effectively in control of Kunduz province, with only Imam Sahib contested (Khanabad district fell to the Taliban yesterday along with Kunduz). The Taliban are also in control of a handful of districts in Badakhshan and contest several districts in Baghlan.
Much more in the LWJ  report. No reports this afternoon in Western media about the status of the fighting in Kunduz City except rehashes of earlier news. From an early news report today, journalists have been barred from the city and were having to depend on 'citizen journalists' in Kunduz phoning in their eyewitness accounts in the attempt to get a picture of what was going on. 

From news sources I quoted in my earlier posts/updates today, the Afghan government is putting a positive spin on the fighting, saying they've taken back several key sites in Kunduz from Taliban control. Propaganda on both sides.

An American LWJ reader, in response to the above post, tried to see the bright side, writing that all this seizing of territory was simply a feint to divert defending forces from Kunduz city. No way to tell at this point whether he's right. Fog of war. 

8-1/2 hour time diference between A'stan and Eastern USA.  Afgan websites Pajhwok, Khaama Press and TOLOnews will probably have earliest reports on the status of the fighting and they have plenty of news on situations related to the attack. (TOLO site was down for several hours this morning but now back online.)  

See these earlier Pundita posts today for background reports; all times Eastern US:

Conflicting statements at this point about progress of Battle of Kunduz - 12:45 PM 

Map of terror group strongholds in A'stan plus UN stats on Islamic State activity - 11:21 PM          
Kunduz falls: "White House down. Office abandoned, all files burned." UPDATED 4X - latest update 9:25 AM EDT - 2:25 AM 

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