U.S. missile defense intercepts rockets fired at Kabul airport: media
Written by tokyoclub on August 30, 2021
A U.S. anti-missile defense system intercepted as many as five rockets that were fired at Kabul’s airport early Monday morning as the United States rushed to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan, Reuters reported, citing a U.S. official.
Initial reports did not indicate any U.S. casualties from the latest rocket attack, the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said, and there was no mention of who was responsible for firing the rockets, according to the report.
Photo shows a view from the scene after at least five rockets were fired at Kabul’s airport on Aug. 30, 2021. (Anadolu Agency/Getty/Kyodo)
The Associated Press also said it wasn’t immediately clear who launched the rockets, adding witnesses said they struck in Kabul’s Salim Karwan neighborhood near the airport.
The witnesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said they heard three explosions and then saw a flash in the sky, according to the media report.
The rockets were launched after the U.S. military conducted an airstrike in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Sunday, destroying a vehicle believed to have been loaded with explosives. But U.S. media said civilians, including children, were also killed.
The U.S. Central Command said Sunday’s drone attack operation eliminated “an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamid Karzai International Airport,” referring to an affiliate of the Islamic State militant group also known as Islamic State-Khorasan.
Centcom also said the attack, the second by the U.S. military on an Islamic State-Khorasan target in just a few days, caused “significant secondary explosions from the vehicle,” indicating the presence of “a substantial amount of explosive material.”
CNN reported that nine members of a family, including six children, were killed in the strike, citing a relative.
Centcom spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said Centcom is aware of reports of civilian casualties and is still assessing the consequences of the strike.
Urban suggested that “substantial and powerful” explosions that resulted from the vehicle’s destruction “may have caused additional casualties.” “We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life,” he added.
The vehicle targeted in Sunday’s strike was next to a building and contained one suicide bomber, CNN reported. The Associated Press reported that the vehicle carried multiple suicide bombers from the Islamic State affiliate.
The U.S. drone strikes followed a suicide bombing near Kabul airport on Thursday that killed 13 U.S. service members and over 100 Afghans. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for that attack.
The deadly explosion struck as foreigners and Afghans scrambled to leave Afghanistan by air ahead of the Tuesday deadline to withdraw U.S. forces from the country, now under Taliban control.