Gen. Murad Ali MuraThe deputy chief of staff of the Afghan National Army (ANA) Gen. Murad Ali Murad said the Afghan security forces retreated from Kunduz city to prevent civilian casualties.

Admitting that the security institutions had conflicting information regarding the possible attack on the city, Gen. Murad said the Afghan security forces did not fully respond to Taliban attacks as the militants have taken positions in residential houses and markets.

He said sufficient forces were present in Kunduz city as the attack was launched and air support became available on time.

The Taliban militants took full control of the city later this afternoon following hours of heavy clashes with the Afghan security forces.

A local security official speaking on the condition of anonymity confirmed that the Taliban militants have taken control of the central prison along with the intelligence compound and the UN compound, provincial governor office and provincial police headquarter.

The deputy provincial governor Hamidullah Danishi earlier confirmed that half of the city has fallen to Taliban control but the provincial government compound and some other areas are still in control of the security forces.

He said the Afghan security forces will hopeful push back the Taliban militants once additional forces have been deployed.

The Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International earlier confirmed at least 66 patients including eight dead bodies were shifted to MSF hospital in Kunduz and at least 17 of them were in critical condition.

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