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Photograph: EPA/JAWED KARGAR

Afghan forces late Monday beat back a Taliban offensive in some parts of Kunduz city, stopping their advance on the key provincial capital after the militants launched an attack late Sunday night, officials said. 

"The enemy is escaping and dead bodies are left on the battlefield," the Afghan Ministry of Defence said on its Twitter page, adding that attacks were ongoing on all the Taliban positions. 

Afghan Special Forces launched an offensive after fighting intensified in the late afternoon on Monday, and they were able to push the Taliban from some of the areas that came under their control, Zar Gul Alimi, a provincial council member in Kunduz, said. 

"Afghan security forces are in control of the main square with additional troops coming," said NATO's Resolute Support mission on its Twitter page, adding that "US forces have multiple assets and enablers in the area to provide support."

Heavy fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban militants continued on Monday afternoon following a period of relative calm, with parts of the north-eastern city falling to the Taliban. 

The violence comes just days before a conference on Afghanistan in Brussels, where world leaders are expected to pledge economic assistance for the impoverished country's development.

Afghan forces were responding from the ground and the air to the Taliban attack in Kunduz, said Adam Khan Mateen, a brigade commander for the Afghan army in the province.

At least one policemen was killed and four others were wounded in the fighting, the Afghan Interior Ministry said.

In September 2015, the Taliban took the strategically important city for two weeks, which came as a shock to the Afghan government and to the international community.

It was the first time the insurgents had taken over a major urban centre since the US-led offensive overthrew the Taliban regime 15 years ago.  

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