9 killed, 15 injured as Taliban insurgents attack Kandahar airport

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Taliban terrorists attacked Kandahar airport on 8 December, leaving at least nine dead and 15 wounded, including civilians, according to Afghan officials.

Several suicide bombers had managed to breach the first gate of the complex in the southern city, which has for long been a Taliban stronghold, and took up positions inside an old school building close to the airbase, said Samim Khopalwaq, a spokesperson for the governor of Kandahar Province.

The attackers met with stiff resistance from the soldiers inside the airbase, with Afghan authorities reportedly deploying commandos to the area.

The battle appeared to end around 11 pm on 8 December after hours of fighting, said a senior Afghan Army officer at the airbase.

The NATO helicopters and aircraft targeted the old school building, and Afghan commandos had also engaged with the attackers, said the officer. It was unclear how many Taliban attackers had raided the air base, he added.

A pro-Taliban website said “a number of martyrs armed with heavy and light weapons entered Kandahar airbase undetected” and attacked “invaders and hirelings.”

According to Taliban spokesperson Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, 10 suicide bombers wearing Afghan Army uniforms went into the air base.

Kandahar Airport director Ahmadullah Faizi told AFP that some passengers were trapped inside, while the fighting was going on.

The joint NATO and Afghan military headquarters are housed inside the airport premises. Kandahar airport is a vital government base in southern Afghanistan and home to US military and CIA. Through years of war, the base’s security perimeter had never been breached, until 8 December.