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

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

Euro falls after European Central Bank announces a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program More

Saudi King’s Death Clears Succession Route

Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef is Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince-in-waiting More

Cloud Hangs Over US Counterterrorism Efforts in Yemen

Sources say resignations of Yemen's president, government has left US anti-terror operations 'paralyzed,' yet an American military 'footprint' remains More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid