NATO special forces have reached Kunduz to bolster Afghan troops after the Taliban seized the strategic northern city, the military coalition said Wednesday. "Coalition special forces are on the ground in Kunduz advising their Afghan counterparts," a NATO spokesman said.
The forces are comprised of US, British and German troops, a Western military source told AFP on condition of anonymity, without specifying the number.
Authorities in northeastern Afghanistan confirmed Sunday the Taliban has captured a key military base in Tirgaran, at the Badakhshan province in the mountainous region of northeastern Afghanistan, bordering China and Tajikistan. The fall of the base happened after more than 100 Afghan security forces surrendered to the Taliban overnight, following three days of fighting. Badakhshan has been the scene of major clashes between Taliban and Afghan security forces in recent weeks.
Despite rumors that nuclear weapons were stored at the base, US officials said that the country's nuclear stockpile were never in danger of falling into Taliban hands. Pakistani military officials also confirmed there were no nuclear weapons being housed at Minhas.
In a step further deteriorating relations between Pakistan and NATO, Islamabad announced today its air defense forces will shoot down any aircraft, manned or unmanned, penetrating its borders, turning the airspace over Waziristan along the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderline into a 'contested access' airspace for aircraft, helicopters and UAVs.
38 U.S and Afghan military personnel were killed tonight when a U.S. Army A Special Operations MH-47G Chinook was downed in Eastern Afghanistan. The tragedy is the worst combat loss event related to aviation operations, recorded in the Afghan war since 2001.
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