Taliban insurgents who seized the Afghan city of Kunduz have defied a counter-offensive and advanced on the airport where government forces retreated after the fall of the city. Heavy fighting erupted near the airport on the city’s outskirts as the insurgents closed in late Tuesday. The Afghan army was supposed to be bolstered by reinforcements for the campaign to retake the city, but attacks on convoys making their way to the city meant that back up troops were only trickling in. “The Taliban have laid landmines and booby traps around Kunduz, slowing the move of convoys of Afghan army reinforcements driving to the city,” a security official told AFP. US forces conducted an air strike on the city’s outskirts Tuesday, and the Afghan spy agency said it coordinated further strikes overnight that killed Mawlawi Salam, the Taliban’s “shadow governor” for the province, along with his deputy and 15 other fighters. Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the fall of the city was “obviously” a setback but that the US believed Afghan authorities would be able to regain control. Precise losses in the fighting were not known, but the Afghan health ministry said hospitals in Kunduz had so far received 16 bodies and more than 190 people wounded. Despite the counter strike, Kunduz remained largely under Taliban control. Insurgents showed off seized ttanks and armoured cars, chanting “Allahu Akbar”(God is greatest) and promising to enforce Islamic sharia law, a Taliban video showed.