Afghan security forces claim that they have regained control of the northern city of Kunduz following a significant assault by the Taliban. According to reports, Islamist fighters breached the city walls and even reportedly raised their flag in a central square before being repelled by government troops, policemen, and Special Forces flown in from Kabul.

Afghanistan's interior ministry have stated that at least one policeman was killed during the attack on Monday (3 October), while a further four policeman were wounded, reported the Associated Press.

The Taliban previously captured the city of Kunduz in September 2015 but it was then recaptured for a second time, with help from Nato, a few days later.

Intense fighting was reported to be coming from inside the city, with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) staff seen fleeing.

Reuters reported fighting continuing near the city's police headquarters, the governor's compound and the National Directorate of Security headquarters.

"The city centre is now in our hands and not in their hands. We are launching an attack to clean up the area," Kunduz police chief Kassim Jangal Bagh told the AFP news agency.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid used his official Twitter account to tell followers that: "... a massive operation started on Kunduz capital from four directions early this morning". Later that day the fundamentalist group said it had control of a roundabout and several checkpoints.

"We see the Taliban go into these city centres, do a Western-movie style shoot-them-up, do some raiding, do some looting, raise a flag, and just as quickly as they do that, they are beaten right back out again," Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said, according to the BBC.

According to the defence ministry in the country, their forces are fighting against militant insurgency in at least 15 of the 34 Afghan districts. On 26 September 2016, at least 13 Afghan soldiers were killed in their sleep in what has been described as an "insider attack" near Kunduz.

Afghanistan Kunduz attack
Afghan policemen keep watch in the downtown of Kunduz city, Afghanistan October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Nasir Wakif