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 Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid