Afghan forces on Tuesday regained control of a strategic district close to the restive northern city of Kunduz that fell to the Taliban earlier this month, official said.
The Taliban seized Qala-e-Zal in an assault that triggered fierce fighting with government forces, prompting hundreds of civilians to flee their homes and reigniting fears the insurgents could overrun Kunduz city for a third time.
"The governor's building, police headquarters and several key areas are cleared of terrorists, but the operation is still ongoing in other insecure areas of the district," the interior ministry said, adding that their operation began on Tuesday morning.
A Kunduz government spokesman said security forces were clearing out landmines planted by insurgents in the recaptured areas.
"Around 2,000 families have been displaced, with most relocating in Kunduz city. Some have also fled to other nearby districts," Assadullah Sadat, a member of the Kunduz provincial council, said. The Norwegian Refugee Council had earlier said that some displaced families were forced to sleep in the open while others were crammed inside the homes of relatives.