The coordinated attack, coming from four directions, began before dawn on Monday, according to Mahfozullah Akbari, a spokesman for the regional police zone. Fighting continued in at least three parts of the city as shops remained closed and residents tried to flee. Helicopter gunships were also seen targeting Taliban areas, some less than a mile from the governor’s compound.
Sardar Murady, a resident who lives close to the highway leading to the district of Chardara, said the Taliban were using some civilian homes for fighting.
“They told us not to lock the gates to our houses,” he said.
Kabir Shabaan, a resident of the Seh Darak area near the city’s southern gate, said Afghan forces asked them to leave their homes, as it was the front line.
“They told us we need to turn this into a trench,” Mr. Shabaan said.
Almost exactly a year ago, the Taliban briefly overran Kunduz, making it the first urban center to fall to the group since the collapse of their regime in 2001. During the operation to retake the city, American planes mistakenly bombed a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, leaving at least 42 people dead.