Afghan forces ended up fighting to dislodge Taliban suicide bombers from the Kandahar airport on Wednesday early morning, officials said, hours soon after militants stormed the sprawling foundation and killed at the very least 9 soldiers.
Kandahar, the country’s next-greatest town, has long performed a essential function in the U.S. navy marketing campaign in Afghanistan and stays house to countless numbers of troops and contractors from the intercontinental coalition that maintains a existence there.
Taliban fighters dressed in navy uniforms stormed the airport early on Tuesday evening from two directions, security officials mentioned, having above a variety of buildings and firing rockets at the runway.
“There are civilians in the spot and that is why the operation is continuing slowly,” explained Maj. Gen. Daud Shah Wafadar, commander of Afghan military corps headquartered in Kandahar. At minimum twenty other soldiers had been wounded by the bombings, he mentioned.
The toll could increase to 36 folks killed which includes the bombers, a Western official in Afghanistan said.
The Taliban on Tuesday published pictures on the internet of combatants it mentioned were associated in the airport assault. One particular picture showed 10 younger gentlemen with quick beards, armed with Kalashnikovs and dressed in smart, identical military uniforms.
The team explained its fighters had been reporting on their progress by telephone and nonetheless combating Afghan and U.S. forces early Wednesday.
A U.S. army spokesman for the coalition explained there experienced been no overseas casualties and that Afghan forces had taken care of most of the battling.
The airfield was house to 26,000 coalition forces 5 years in the past, during the top of the U.S. armed forces surge. That amount has dropped to close to 2,000 coalition troops and 5,000 defense contractors, in accordance to figures presented by the U.S. army.
The attack arrives as Afghan and Pakistani officials meet at this week’s Coronary heart of Asia conference in Islamabad, the place reviving peace talks with the Taliban is predicted to be a important subject matter of dialogue.
The Afghan authorities has long accused Pakistan of sheltering the militants and the meetings taking location on Tuesday and Wednesday are witnessed as a step toward mending strained ties in between the two countries.
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