Saturday 3 December 2016

Dozens of troops and civilians killed in Taliban attack on Afghan airport

Johan Trigg in Kabul

Published 10/12/2015 | 02:30

An Afghan National Army soldier stands guard in front of a shop burned during the Taliban attack on Kandahar Airport. Photo: Reuters
An Afghan National Army soldier stands guard in front of a shop burned during the Taliban attack on Kandahar Airport. Photo: Reuters

dozens of Afghan security forces and civilians were massacred during a lengthy Taliban attack on Kandahar airport.

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The airport also accommodates a large Nato military base within its confines in southern Afghanistan.

The ministry of defence confirmed in a statement that 37 people, including women and children and Afghan national security forces, had so far been killed, with another 35 wounded, with fighting still continuing yesterday evening.

Ten Taliban fighters reportedly disguised in Afghan military uniforms breached the first layer of the airport's security at around 6.30pm on Tuesday, minutes after the evening call to prayer.

Afghan officials claimed late on Tuesday night that the insurgents had been subdued, but fierce fighting continued for several hours afterwards, reportedly trapping passengers in the airport overnight.

Firing

Yesterday, locals sources claimed surviving Taliban fighters had taken civilian hostages and remained firing from a building on the outskirts of the airfield.

The Kandahar airport hosts both a civil aviation airport and a large Nato base, where a contingent of hundreds of foreign soldiers still operate. There had been no reports of foreign casualties, a Nato spokesman said.

The attack on Kandahar, the spiritual home of the Taliban, is yet another ambitious attack by a reinvigorated insurgent movement that has been emboldened by the drawdown of international combat troops.

Irish Independent

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