Taliban storms airport in Afghan city of Kandahar

Kabul, Dec 9 (IANS) Casualties were feared late Tuesday after Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers attacked an airport in Kandahar city, sources said.

“The attack took place late evening. At least six militants armed with suicide jackets, rocket launchers and guns took control of a school near the civilian part of the Kandahar International Airport. They fired several rockets on airport and engaged with security forces at the site,”a security source told Xinhua anonymously.

Units of special operation force also arrived at the scene and the security forces have cordoned off the area shortly after the attack, he said.

No casualty reports were immediately available as the clash was ongoing at the moment.

The Taliban militant group claimed responsibility for the incident shortly after the attack.

Unofficial sources said that the insurgents also attacked the nearby apartment buildings, where families’ of military and high-ranking officials lives.

They said one suicide bomber and three army soldiers had so far been killed during the clashes.

The airport’s operations were also suspended for precautionary measures.

“We still cannot provide details on causalities. There is fear of possible causalities, both civilian and military personnel,” a provincial government spokesman, Samim Khpalwak, told Xinhua, adding that the more details will be revealed to public later.

The Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since April when the militants group launched its so-called annual rebel offensive in different places which had claimed hundreds of lives including militants, security personnel and civilians.

Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a purported Taliban spokesman, told local media that the attack war part of Taliban’s offensive codenamed Hamalyat-e-Azm or Resolute Operation.

On Monday night, two militants were killed and five security personnel wounded after Taliban attacked a police station in Kandahar city.

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