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Taliban strikes Kabul airport with multiple blasts, 7 dead

Published time: June 10, 2013 01:42
Edited time: June 10, 2013 07:31
Afghan police arrive at the site of an attack in Kabul June 10, 2013.(Reuters / Omar Sobhani)

Afghan police arrive at the site of an attack in Kabul June 10, 2013.(Reuters / Omar Sobhani)

Taliban insurgents stormed the Kabul international airport that houses a NATO headquarters setting off multiple explosions. Afghan forces reported the seven heavily-armed insurgents had been killed following a fierce gun battle.

Afghan officials announced that the insurgents had been neutralized a few hours after the siege began at around 4:30am local time (24:30 GMT) on Monday.

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in an explosives-laden van, and five others took up positions in a building under construction next to the international airport, Interior Ministry spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi said. The remaining insurgents then engaged in a fierce gun battle for several hours before being killed by security forces.

The area was quickly sealed off by security forces, and helicopters patrolled the area. Local residents said they heard at least a dozen explosions coming from the military section of the airport. They described hearing rocket-propelled grenade blasts along with automatic weapons fire, AP reported.   

Smoke billows from the site of an explosion in Kabul June 10, 2013. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani)

  “It started just after dawn prayers and I counted about a dozen explosions, mostly RPG fire, coming from the airport,” one resident told AP. 

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was part of a “spring offensive” they pledged last month to launch on alliance military bases and diplomatic centers.

"Today... there was a massive attack on the foreign military side of Kabul airport,"
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a text message sent to reporters. "The enemy has suffered major casualties," he added, although no military casualties have yet been reported. 

Afghan security forces take their position at the site of an attack in Kabul June 10, 2013. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani)

Embassies in Kabul were put on lockdown shortly after the attacks began, with several Western diplomatic missions sounding emergency alerts. 

The so-called ‘spring offensive’ has seen an increase in attacks on alliance forces. In May, Afghan security forces battled Taliban insurgents in the center of Kabul following a massive blast.

US forces are scheduled to fully withdraw in 2014, when they will hand over security responsibilities to the Afghans. Concerns have been voiced that the Afghan forces are ill-prepared and too few in number to defend against the Taliban insurgency.


Afghan police arrive at the site of an attack in Kabul June 10, 2013.(Reuters / Omar Sobhani)


Comments (69)

 

Bruce S 24.06.2013 01:19

Since the days of American frontier wars of expansion nothing has changed. Every rationale for invading sovereign lands is founded on lies and incidents either manufactured or instigated. 9/11, religious conflics, racism, forget all that BS It's about land and mineral theft, drug profits, and global political domination by a wealthy cabal. Deaths that result from thes e wars are tragic, be it young enlisted US soldiers or the local militia. Folks, save your hatred for those who continually scheme and profit from clash of civilization wars while never shedding a drop of blood. Signed, awaken US veteran

Anonymous user 19.06.2013 09:14

USA is not in Asia so keep you trigger happy cowboys @ home,you'd not like foreign army in US/UK.

Anonymous user 19.06.2013 09:07

King Richards christian crusade didn't even spare the little muslim children/babies. What peace!

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