In a brazen attack, thirty seven people were killed, when Taliban dressed in military uniform attacked the Kandahar airport, triggering a 24-hour gun-battle, on Wednesday.
According to media reports, one of the 11 assailants was still holding out against security forces late on Wednesday, nearly 24 hours after the seige began.
The assailants had taken some families hostage and used them as “human shields” after storming the complex at sundown on Tuesday, slowing down the military’s clearance operation, witness told AFP .
The attack on the complex, which also houses a joint NATO-Afghan base, is seen as the most serious attack on the largest military installation in southern Afghanistan, in 14 years of war.
The gunfight started at around 6:00 PM (on Tuesday) and intensified over the night, 30-year-old university student Izatullah, who lives inside the complex, said.
“Soldiers were calling on Taliban attackers to let women and children go, but the attackers declined. We could hear children screaming during the fighting.”
The Afghan defence ministry, on Wednesday evening, said, nine insurgents had been gunned down, one was injured and another was still holed up inside a building.
The minister added that during the battle, 37 innocent Afghans were killed and 35 others injured. “This is the most serious attack we’ve witnessed against the (Kandahar) complex”, the official said.
The militant organisation also posted a picture on their website of the militants, it said, were involved in the brazen attack. The photo showed 10 young men sporting trimmed beards, Kalashnikovs and identical military uniforms.
The face of one of them is obscured with blue ink for reasons that were not revealed. “The martyrdom seekers… entered Kandahar airbase undetected… and began thunderous attacks,” the post said.