Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has dismissed Mohammad Omar Safi, governor of the northern province of Kunduz, and nominated his deputy as acting chief three days after the strategic city fell to the Taliban. The dismissal came soon after the country's security forces retook most parts of Kunduz.
Removing Omar, who was abroad when the Taliban insurgents overran Kunduz, through a presidential decree, Ghani appointed Hamdullah Danishi as the governor following reports that Omar had fled to Europe. The allegations that Omar took a bribe in order to flee has, however, been sharply criticised following his return to Afghanistan on Wednesday, 30 September.
Meanwhile, the Kabul administration has announced they have retaken most parts of the key city after three days of bitter fighting. Afghan security forces mounted their counter-offensive against the Taliban fighters at about 11pm local time on Wednesday.
"Afghan security forces got control of Kunduz city from Taliban overnight after heavy fighting. After we got reinforcements and started a massive operation inside Kunduz city, the Taliban could not resist and escaped. ... We will give a full report soon," the newly-appointed acting governor told Reuters.
Clearance operations to flush out the remaining Taliban militants are also underway. Afghan interior ministry spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi wrote on Twitter: "It is retaken and being cleared from terrorists, heavy casualty to the enemy." The Islamist militant group, which only a day earlier had claimed they had launched a fresh onslaught to capture Kunduz airport, has not commented on the latest reports.