KABUL, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- About 39 Taliban militants had been killed in fresh clashes and airstrikes in embattled northern Afghan city of Kunduz, the country's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
On early Monday, the Taliban launched coordinated attacks and took positions in residential houses and buildings in the city, triggering fierce clashes with the security forces.
Kunduz, capital of northern Kunduz province, is located 250 km north of national capital Kabul.
Earlier on Wednesday morning, sporadic clashes occurred across the city while the security forces engaged with the militants in southern and eastern parts to force them to retreat to outer sides of the city.
"The cleaning operation is going on in Kunduz city and surrounding areas by joint Afghan security forces. Some 17 enemies were killed inside Kunduz city and 22 others were killed after army's airpower struck Taliban positions in several strategic locations in outskirts of the city," the ministry said in a written statement.
The statement said that 27 militants were wounded as a result of the clashes and air raids.
The Kunduz province, bordering Tajikistan and neighboring Baghlan and Takhar provinces, has witnessed heavy clashes over the past couple of months as Taliban has been trying to challenge the government forces in the once relatively peaceful region.
Kunduz city was briefly captured by Taliban in late September last year, leaving several people killed and over 2,000 civilians and security forces injured.