Afghan security force members take part in a military operation in Kunduz province, Afghanistan, July 5, 2017. (Xinhua/Ajmal Kakar)
KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Taliban militants have intensified activities since late last month to overrun Kunduz, the strategically important city in northern Afghanistan.
The Taliban had twice briefly captured Kunduz city, capital of the northern Kunduz province located 250 km north of Kabul, in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
This latest development has again caused concerns among Kunduz residents about the fragile security situation in their homeland.
"It is about one week that the Taliban fighters have taken positions in several parts around the Kunduz city and the status quo has caused concerns among the residents," said resident Rahmatullah.
Expressing concerns over the fragile security situation, the worrying man warned that any negligence by security organs would enable the armed oppositions to storm the besieged city.
Taliban militants, according to locals and officials, have sped up activities to take control of the roads connecting Kunduz to the neighboring Baghlan province to tighten noose around Kunduz, a key city in the northern region of Afghanistan.
The armed militants established isolated checkpoints in Madrasa and Omarkhil villages a few days ago and frisked the cars entering Kunduz city, locals said.
Expressing concerns over the delicate situation, the head of Kunduz Provincial Council, Amrudin Wali, has warned that continued status quo and government's inability to evict militants from around Kunduz city would further deteriorate the security situation.
However, security officials said Friday that the road linking Kunduz to the neighboring Baghlan province was reopened and the checkpoints set up by armed militants had been beaten back.
"Taliban rebels have fled away after suffering huge casualties and Ali Abad road linking Kunduz to Baghlan province is open for traffic today," an army spokesman in Kunduz province, Nazar Mohammad Ghiasi, told reporters here.
He also added that the security forces have begun house-to-house search since early morning to nab any militants hidden among villagers.
Confirming the report, police spokesman Mahfozullah Akbari also said that the road linking Kunduz to Baghlan province has been reopened.
Taliban militants who are in control of parts of the troubled Kunduz province are yet to make comments on the situation.