Court holds open trial for suspects in airport attack
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): A local court on Thursday held an open trial for seven people allegedly facilitating a coordinated Taliban attack on the airport in southern Kandahar province, an official said.
On December 8, 2015, at least 50 people, including 14 Taliban attackers, were killed after the insurgents stormed the airport in a brazen attack that lasted 20 hours.
The attackers were laced with suicide vests, hand grenades and guns, killing 38 civilians, 10 Afghan soldiers and two policemen.
The attack also left 35 shops of civilians, 15 civilian homes, a school building and at least 15 vehicles destroyed or damaged.
Intelligence forces had detained seven people accused of their involvement in the attack.
The open trial for the accused was held on Thursday, but ended without any result.
While reading cases of the detainees, the attorney said seven people including Khan, the garrison commander of the airport, had helped the attackers enter the airport.
Six of the accused owned food and other items shops inside the airport, the attorney said, adding all of the accused had confessed to their crimes and helping the attackers to enter the airport.
But the accused and their lawyers rejected the attorney’s claims and said they had been tortured and forced into confessing.
Shabir Ahmad Qayumi, one of the defense lawyers of the accused, said that the cases of the accused had been filled based on their confessions, but there were evidence proving their crimes.
He said the airport gate was protected by several security organs, including the Afghan National Army (ANA), police and border police, but holding one person among them responsible made no sense.
Kandahar urban court chief Abdul Halim Muslim also said the cases of the accused had many shortcomings.
He said members of the military council including the governor, provincial police chief, National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief, the 205th Atal Military Corps commander and some other security officials should participate in the trial.
Muslim said all mistakes in the cases should be resolved and the military council members should participate in the next hearing.
A Wolesi Jirga delegation, which previously traveled to investigate the airport attack, said the attackers had used the illegally built shops inside the airport to successfully achieve their goal.
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