News / Asia

Afghan Forces Kill 7 Insurgents After Airport Attack

An Afghan security officer stands near the body of an insurgent killed in a battle near Kabul airport, Afghanistan, June, 10, 2013.
An Afghan security officer stands near the body of an insurgent killed in a battle near Kabul airport, Afghanistan, June, 10, 2013.
Sharon Behn
Taliban fighters, including suicide bombers, attacked Kabul's airport Monday morning. The airport handles civilian air traffic, but also houses NATO military facilities. The insurgent attack is the latest in a series of strikes targeting international organizations operating in Afghanistan.

Explosions and rocket fire were heard in the capital early Monday morning, as seven Taliban militants attacked the Kabul airport, apparently in an attempt to strike at NATO operations there.

In a message to the media, the Taliban claims responsibility for the attack, which it says was aimed at the “foreign military side” of the airport.

The message also claims to have inflicted major casualties, but Afghan officials say that no Afghan forces died in the fight. The Taliban often exaggerates casualty numbers.

Taliban assaults on the strongly guarded airport are unusual. But the Taliban recently have ramped up their annual so-called Spring offensive as national forces continue to take on more security responsibilities ahead of international troop withdrawal in 2014.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi says seven militants, armed with rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons, tried and failed to penetrate the airport.

"Our forces today proved that we can foil any kind of attack, especially those complex and difficult terrorist attacks like today," said Sediqqi.

  • Blood is seen on the wall of a building after an attack in Kabul, June 10, 2013.
  • Afghan security personnel investigate the site of an attack in Kabul, June 10, 2013.
  • Afghan soldiers patrol a building after a Taliban attack near Kabul airport, June, 10, 2013.
  • Members of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force arrive at the site of an attack in Kabul, June 10, 2013.

As explosions and gunfire shook the area, security forces quickly shut down roads leading to the airport and canceled all flights leaving the capital.

Kabul police Chief Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi, says Afghan security forces successfully cleared the area after a four-hour gun battle with the militants.

He thanked God the attack did not affect the installations or the airplanes at the airport. There was just one empty structure that was hit.

On the same day, six suicide bombers launched an attack against three provincial government buildings in southern Zabul province, killing three police and wounding another 18 people.

In addition to hitting Afghan targets, in May Taliban militants attacked International Organization for Migration in Kabul and offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.

The ICRC temporarily withdrew some of its non-Afghan staff as a precaution. Afghanistan is one of the ICRC’s biggest operations, with some 1,800 staff members working in 17 locations around the country.

The United Nations says the last two weeks of May saw a sharp increase in civilian casualties in the conflict compared to the same period last year.

Analyst Omar Sharifi of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies says the Taliban is trying to establish its power during the transition period.

“The whole idea of these high-profile attacks is - one of the main ideas behind it - is to disrupt the transition process and more importantly to remain relevant in Afghan political development currently, because we are in the year of elections campaign. And, if they manage to disrupt this and remain relevant then they think they will probably have an effect in post-14 [after 2014] developments,” he said.

Sharifi says that there is not one monolithic Taliban command directing the militant attacks, but rather several command groups fighting for power in different areas of the country.

Afghanistan is to hold national elections in April 2014, just months before the final pullout of all international combat forces in the country.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid