Attack on Kabul airport: 4 assailants killed
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said a five-hour assault on the Kabul International Airport ended with the killing of four attackers on Thursday, officials said.
The attack was launched at around 4:00 am. Siddique Siddiqui, the interior ministry spokesperson, said all four attackers were killed, but the security personnel suffered no casualties.
Deputy Interior Minister Gen. Ayoub Salangi said three of the assailants were killed by police and a fourth one detonated his explosives. He told Pajhwok Afghan News the security personnel were combing the building.
Earlier, Salangi had said a group of rebels forced their way into under-construction building in Qasaba area from where they were firing on the airport. He said security forces entered the building, clearing its fourth floor.
Police chief Gen. Mohammad Zahir Zahir has said that insurgents were unable to cause any big damage to the airport. Recently, rebels’ activities have been surged in Kabul. Zahir warned there was possibility of similar attacks and that they were in a state of war.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) later in a statement said: “We can confirm that enemy forces attacked Kabul International Airport today with indirect fire and small arms fire. ISAF provided Close Air Support, a Quick Reaction Force and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance to the ANSF, who led the response. There were no ISAF casualties, and four insurgents were killed. The NATO base was not breeched, and the base is secure. There was no structural damage, as it was an ineffective attack.”
An eyewitness Abdul Qadir said fierce fight was underway between militants and security forces, with both sides using heavy and light weapons.
He heard several powerful explosions and the attackers were shelling rockets into the airport.
Speaking to journalists, the interior ministry’s spokesperson said more reinforcement of security personnel had reached the site, besieging the attackers inside the building.
He said neither security forces nor civilians suffered casualties nor government installations were damaged.
Earlier, sources put the number of attackers at twelve individuals. A security official at the airport, wishing anonymity said few rockets landed inside the airport but caused no men and material loss.
He said three police have so far been injured.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operational command is also located north of Kabul Airport. ISAF acknowledged attack on the airport, but said it would release further details later.
As usual, Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with the group’s Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said a group of fighters armed with heavy and light weapons stormed Kabul Airport, inflicting heavy casualties on security forces.
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