The northern Afghan city of Kunduz fell to the Taliban on September 28 when they captured the city in a lightning offensive. Days later, early on the morning of October 3rd, a US AC-130 Spectre gunship attacked the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Kunduz Trauma Center, burning the main hospital building completely and killing at least 46 patients and MSF staff. The airstrike came amid a confused and weak response from government forces to clear the city of insurgents, and ongoing operations to push them out of adjacent areas moved slowly as well. The takeover was a major victory for the insurgent group, marking the first time they had occupied a major Afghan city since they were driven from power in 2001.
Afghan Commando at prayer.
Fighting at the Dasht-e-Archi district center.
Shot through the arm.
Afghan Army medevac a dead commando.
Frontline against the Taliban.
Keeping warm in the nighttime.
Morning APC in the fog.
Life passing along with the fighting.
Hunting a sniper.
Afghan Special Forces team leader Cpt. Wahidullah Wahid
Curtains against the snipers.
Morning bath help.
Days before, two of their fellow Afghan Army soldiers defected to the Taliban.
Rebuilding after airstrikes.
Bread seller in the evening.
Kids arrive at their outdoor school.
The central roundabout in downtown Kunduz traded hands between the Taliban and Afghan government forces over and over during the battle.
Militiaman guards a tank, stolen by the Taliban and destroyed by US air power.
Abdul Qadeer, member of an Arbaki, or local militia.
Bala Hissar, hilltop redoubt for centuries of fighters.
Arbaki loyal to local strongman Commander Aziz, fled their base in nearby Gortepa from the Talib advance.
Omid, 15, survived the bombing of the MSF hospital by US forces on Oct. 3rd.
Holes in the roof of the MSF Kunduz hospital, punched by US 105mm artillery rounds.
The AC-130 attacked the hospital repeatedly for around an hour.
Surviving staff members outside the main building.
The ICU was completely destroyed- all the patients died in their beds. At least 46 staff and patients were killed by the airstrike.
A bloodied hospital gown.
Surgeon Dr. Esmatullah, survivor of the bombing of the Kunduz MSF Hospital, walks through his destroyed operating theater.