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Several rockets fired at Kabul airport as evacuation winds down

Suicide bomb attack last week claimed over 100 lives

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 30, 2021 | Last Updated: 5 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Aug 30, 2021 | Last Updated: 5 months ago

Photo: AFP

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Several rockets were fired at Kabul's airport Monday, witnesses and security sources said, less than 48 hours before the United States is due to complete its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. The sound of rockets whooshing over the capital was heard by AFP staff before the morning rush hour began. A security official who worked in the administration toppled two weeks ago by the Taliban said the rockets had been fired from a vehicle in north Kabul. The sound of the airport's missile defence system could be heard by local residents, who also reported shrapnel falling into the street -- suggesting at least one rocket had been intercepted. Smoke could be seen rising above buildings in the north, where the Hamid Karzai International Airport is located. Social media posts -- which could not immediately be verified -- also showed a vehicle on fire after being apparently struck by retaliatory fire. Further details were not immediately available. An evacuation of foreigners and Afghans considered at risk of Taliban retribution for working with US-led forces for the last 20 years is in its finals stages and will officially end Tuesday when the last American troops pull out. The Islamic State group, rivals of the Taliban, pose the biggest threat to the withdrawal after carrying out a suicide bomb attack at the airport last week that claimed more than 100 lives, including 13 US troops. US President Joe Biden had warned more attacks were highly likely, and the United States said it carried out an air strike Sunday night in Kabul on an explosives-laden vehicle.
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Several rockets were fired at Kabul’s airport Monday, witnesses and security sources said, less than 48 hours before the United States is due to complete its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The sound of rockets whooshing over the capital was heard by AFP staff before the morning rush hour began.

A security official who worked in the administration toppled two weeks ago by the Taliban said the rockets had been fired from a vehicle in north Kabul.

The sound of the airport’s missile defence system could be heard by local residents, who also reported shrapnel falling into the street — suggesting at least one rocket had been intercepted.

Smoke could be seen rising above buildings in the north, where the Hamid Karzai International Airport is located.

Social media posts — which could not immediately be verified — also showed a vehicle on fire after being apparently struck by retaliatory fire.

Further details were not immediately available.

An evacuation of foreigners and Afghans considered at risk of Taliban retribution for working with US-led forces for the last 20 years is in its finals stages and will officially end Tuesday when the last American troops pull out.

The Islamic State group, rivals of the Taliban, pose the biggest threat to the withdrawal after carrying out a suicide bomb attack at the airport last week that claimed more than 100 lives, including 13 US troops.

US President Joe Biden had warned more attacks were highly likely, and the United States said it carried out an air strike Sunday night in Kabul on an explosives-laden vehicle.

 
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