KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Afghan security forces recaptured key locations in the city of Kunduz on Thursday, but the Taliban continued to fight back.
An overnight operation launched by Afghan security forces on Kunduz led to the recapture of key government buildings, but the Taliban said they still hold control over some territory in the city.
Afghan forces recaptured the main square in Kunduz, a symbolic victory, but the Taliban have attempted to take it back.
The Afghan Defense Ministry said about 150 Taliban militants were killed in the operation to retake Kunduz.
"This is a huge blow for the Taliban," said Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi, BBC News reported. "It proves Afghan special forces are elite fighters who can win battles."
Kunduz was the Taliban's former northern stronghold before their overthrow in 2001. Kunduz province supplies half of the country's rice and holds major roads connecting central and northern Afghanistan, including a road to Kabul.
The city was captured by the Taliban during an overnight assault on Monday. Many civilians in Kunduz, a city of about 300,000, fled due to the fighting.
Under Taliban control, there were reports of "extrajudicial executions, including of healthcare workers, abductions, denial of medical care and restrictions on movement," U.N. Special Representative for Afghanistan Nicholas Haysom said.
Doctors Without Borders said its doctors have treated at least 252 injured people, including 53 civilians, since Monday.
"The majority of patients had sustained gunshot wounds, and surgeons have been treating severe abdominal, limb and head injuries," the aid group said in a statement.