Afghan forces launch mission to retake northern city from Taliban

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan troops have begun a counterattack against Taliban fighters who seized control of the northern provincial capital of Kunduz on Monday, the government said.

“Fresh troops have arrived in Kunduz and an operation has been launched,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

It said government forces had retaken the city prison and the provincial police headquarters that were overrun on Monday night.

The fall of Kunduz city center marked the first time in the nearly 14-year-old war that the Taliban had seized a provincial capital and was a major embarrassment to the year-old government of President Ashraf Ghani.

Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Nick Macfie