Islamic State claims responsibility for rocket attack on Kabul airport

CAIRO (REUTERS) – The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Kabul airport on Monday (Aug 30), the group’s Nasher News said on its Telegram channel.

“By the grace of God Almighty, the soldiers of the Caliphate targeted Kabul International Airport with six Katyusha rockets,” it said.

US anti-missile defences intercepted as many as five rockets fired at Kabul’s airport early on Monday, a US official said.

The attack came as the United States rushed to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan to end its longest war. 

Afghan media said the attack was launched from the back of a vehicle. The Pajhwok news agency said several rockets struck different parts of the Afghan capital.

Initial reports did not indicate any US casualties, the US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. 

The attack followed a huge ISIS suicide bombing outside the airport gates on Thursday that killed scores of Afghans and 13 US troops and another reported attempted bombing on Sunday. 

The US and allied forces have evacuated about 114,400 people, including foreign nationals and Afghans deemed “at risk”, in an effort that began a day before Kabul fell to the Taliban on Aug 15. 

The forces themselves are due to pull out by a Tuesday deadline agreed with the Islamist militants. 

US President Joe Biden reconfirmed his order for commanders to do “whatever is necessary to protect our forces on the ground” after he was briefed on Monday’s rocket fire, the White House said. He was told airport operations continued uninterrupted, it added.

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