KUNDUZ: (APP) Food was running short as forces in Afghanistan battled Taliban militants for a third day in Kunduz Wednesday, residents said, with scores fleeing the strategic Afghan city fearing more violence.
Taliban militants on Monday launched an attack in the northeastern city of Kunduz, hoisting their flag at the main intersection, according to witnesses, before Afghan forces backed by NATO drove them into the outskirts.
Since late Monday Afghan forces have been conducting a careful clearing operation, with officials warning that the militants may be hiding in civilian homes as fighting continued around the city's edges.
"We are facing a shortage of food in the city. The prices are skyrocketing. A loaf of bread that cost 15 Afghanis ($0.22) is now 40 Afghanis ($0.60)," a resident, Khalid, told AFP.
"People have to wait in queues for hours behind bakeries to buy bread," he said.
Frightened citizens were still trying to flee amid unconfirmed reports the militants were building up their presence once more.
"Almost all the people in the city want to leave. I have been trying to find transportation for hours today, but all cars are full," Nasirullah, waiting in the bus station with his family of five, told AFP.
Khairuddin, a teacher in the city, said schools, universities and other private and public institutions were shut and residents were left without electricity as the main power station had been destroyed by militants.
"The few shops that are open are running out of food items. We don't know when the government is going to begin their clearance operation to push them (Taliban) completely out of the town," he said.