Rockets Reportedly Hit Kandahar Airport in Afghanistan
03:51 GMT 01.08.2021 (Updated: 07:00 GMT 01.08.2021)
The reported attack comes amid the ongoing withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan, where Taliban* militants are boosting their military activities.
At least three rockets have hit the Kandahar Airport in southern Afghanistan, airport chief Massoud Pashtun told the AFP news agency on Sunday.
"Last night three rockets were fired at the airport and two of them hit the runway […]. Due to this all flights from the airport have been cancelled", Pashtun said.
He added that work to repair the runway was currently under way and that the airport was expected to be operational again later on Sunday.
AFP also cited an unnamed official at the civil aviation authority in Kabul as confirming the rocket attack.
Taliban Attacks UN Office in Afghanistan's Herat Province
The developments come after Taliban militants clashed on Friday with government forces in Herat Province, where the UN's compound came under attack by rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The mission said the attack was conducted by "anti-government elements".
The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons, for her part, said that "this attack against the United Nations is deplorable and we condemn it in the strongest terms".
She underscored that "the perpetrators of this attack must be identified and brought to account".
Violence has surged in Afghanistan in recent weeks as the Taliban have intensified their offensive since US and NATO forces began to withdraw from the country.
Last week, Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman rejected the Taliban's claim of controlling 90 percent of Afghanistan's borders as an "absolute lie" and "baseless propaganda". He told AFP that government troops were currently in control of the country's borders and all "main cities and highways".
In early July, President Joe Biden declared that a complete withdrawal of American service personnel from Afghanistan would wrap up on 31 August, less than two weeks before the 9/11 deadline that was initially proposed by the US administration.
*Taliban, a terrorist group banned in Russia and a number of other countries