Taliban launch fresh attack on Afghan city of Kunduz

Taliban militants have launched a co-ordinated attack on the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, officials say.

The militants attacked from four sides of the city in the middle of the night.

Mahmood Danish, spokesman for the provincial governor, said Afghan forces had repelled the attack.

Kunduz was briefly captured by the Taliban last September – the first time the insurgents had taken a major city – but government forces, backed by Nato, recaptured it within days.

In southern Helmand province, militants have also taken a strategically important district to the south of Lashkar Gah, killing the local police chief, officials say.

A number of other police casualties were also reported.

Residents in Kunduz told the BBC they heard heavy fighting and helicopters flying over the strategically important city.

Mohammadullah Bahej, head of the police co-ordination office in Kunduz, said the militants had been pushed back but fighting was continuing on the outskirts of the city.