Kabul International Airport Siege Ends With Seven Taliban Dead (PHOTOS)

by
Fatimah Mazhar
Shortly after dawn on Monday, heavily-armed Taliban insurgents and suicide bombers attacked and reportedly seized a building near Kabul International Airport.

Shortly after dawn on Monday, heavily-armed Taliban insurgents and suicide bombers attacked and reportedly seized a building near Kabul International Airport.

The area under which was under siege is Afghanistan’s main international airport and also houses a large NATO-led military base. The attack began shortly before 5 a.m. (0030 GMT) according to sources.

Afghan police and security forces arrived on the scene following the explosions and gunfire. 

Afghan nationals gathered near the site of attack. All flights were cancelled; embassies were closed and nearby roads were closed for security purposes.

Although some international troops were present on the site, the Afghan security forces majorly tackled the terrorists themselves. 

By the end of 2014, most of the NATO soldiers are expected to leave Afghanistan, and the local forces are to be fully responsible for the security situation in the country. 

Siege Over: 

The siege ended with all the seven Taliban insurgents including suicide bombers dead after fighting the Afghan security forces for about four hours.

The attackers took up positions inside a partially constructed building next to the international airport, interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

Attacks on the heavily guarded airport, used by civilians and the military, are relatively rare and represent an ambitious target for insurgents, with recent assaults staged against less well-protected targets.

 

Police said the attack appeared to be centered on the military side of the airport, to the west of the civilian terminal, and that the attackers were dressed as police.

Kabul Police Chief General Mohammad Ayub Salangi said two suicide bombers blew themselves up and another five were killed in the fighting. There appeared to be no casualties among Afghan security forces or civilians.

He also said a van packed with explosives hidden under vegetables was destroyed when security forces fired a rocket-propelled grenade at it. Another police source said the attackers were wearing Afghan Border Police uniforms in order to avoid detection before they launched the assault.

The Taliban said the attack was part of its 2013 "spring offensive". The militant organization vowed in April this year to start a new campaign of mass suicide attacks on foreign military bases and diplomatic areas, as well as damaging "insider attacks", as part of a new spring offensive this year.

The assault will add to mounting concerns over how the 352,000-strong Afghan security forces will cope with an intensifying insurgency.