Rockets fired at Kabul airport
Published: 12:47 PM, 30 August 2021
Rockets have been fired towards Afghanistan's Kabul international airport, and have reportedly been intercepted by a US missile defence system.
The White House confirmed the attack, but said that its ongoing evacuations would "continue uninterrupted".
The incident comes a day after a US drone strike thwarted what officials said was another attack on the airport.
The US is planning to withdraw its troops and complete evacuations from Afghanistan by Tuesday.
On Monday morning, Afghan media reported that five rockets were launched from a car, flying over Kabul towards the airport.
A US official told Reuters that their anti-missile defence system had intercepted the rockets.
Video and pictures carried by local news outlets showed smoke wafting across the rooftops of Kabul, and what appeared to be a burning car on a street.
The White House said President Joe Biden was briefed on the rocket attack.
"The President was informed that operations continue uninterrupted at HKIA (Kabul airport), and has reconfirmed his order that commanders redouble their efforts to prioritize doing whatever is necessary to protect our forces on the ground," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
No US or Afghan casualties have been reported so far from Monday's incident.
Separately, the Pentagon is investigating reports of civilian casualties in Sunday's drone strike. Officials say a car was blown up, killing one person.
But the US military has acknowledged that powerful subsequent explosions - which they said was a result of the bomb material inside the car - may have caused additional casualties.
US news outlets have been reporting that nine members from the same family were killed in the drone strike, including children.
Last week, more than 100 Afghans and 13 US service members were killed in twin suicide bombings at the airport.
The local affiliate of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the blasts.
Following the attack, US officials have warned militants may try to launch more attacks as troops try to evacuate American citizens and at-risk Afghans before a August 31 deadline.
The United States has installed an anti-rocket and mortar system to protect the airport from further attacks.
Later on Monday, British ministers and officials will be taking part in a number of international meetings aimed at defining a joint approach to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will hold talks with his counterparts from the G7 group of wealthy countries, as well as Nato and Qatar.
At the United Nations in New York, France and Britain are expected to propose a Security Council resolution calling for a safe zone in Kabul to protect people trying to leave the country. - BBC