Kabul (AP) – The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is entering its final phase under extremely dangerous conditions. The Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia again attacked Kabul airport on Monday.
According to information from the American broadcaster CNN, at least five rockets were fired towards the airport in the morning (local time). A Taliban spokesman said Taliban leader Haibatullah Achundsada, who had not been seen for years, was in Kandahar, in the south of the country. The UN Security Council wanted to vote Monday on a resolution that should lead to the safe departure of people from Afghanistan.
There were initially no reports of casualties or damage from the missile attack. The missile defense system installed at the airport had been activated, CNN said. When attacked, this activates a machine gun that destroys approaching objects before they hit their target. The withdrawal of American troops is in full swing and they want to have left Afghanistan by Tuesday.
The IS branch, active in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack for itself. “Caliphate soldiers” attacked the airport with six Katyusha rockets, IS-Khorasan, as ISIS calls itself in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Nashir News platform reported on Monday. ISIS, which is hostile to the Taliban, has repeatedly attacked various targets in Kabul with rockets in the past.
US President Joe Biden had been briefed on the missile attack, he said in a statement from White House press secretary Jen Psaki. The President had also been informed that operations at the airport would continue without interruption. Kabul airport commanders should redouble their efforts to protect the troops, Biden said.
Biden had warned Sunday of further attacks around Kabul airport. At least 13 US soldiers and two British soldiers were killed in an IS attack at the airport on Thursday. News about Afghan deaths fluctuates, broadcasters like CNN have reported as many as 200 dead.
During its evacuation mission at Kabul Airport, the United States recently evacuated around 1,200 people from the country in 24 hours. The White House announced that 26 U.S. military planes carried around 1,200 people between early Sunday morning and early Monday morning. Since the mission began in mid-August, a total of around 116,700 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan, the statement said.
According to CNN, Washington has also completed the evacuation mission. The Bundeswehr ended its rescue operation on Thursday, France, Spain and Britain followed on Friday and Saturday.
American attack kills civilians
At least ten civilians were reportedly killed in a US airstrike in Kabul over the weekend. Among the dead in Sunday’s attack were children, local television station ToloNews reported, citing residents on Monday. The US military said on Sunday it was investigating reports of possible civilian casualties after the airstrike on an IS car. The operation succeeded in averting an “immediate threat” to Kabul airport from terrorists, and the results of the airstrike are still under review.
The UN Security Council wanted to process and vote on a resolution for the safe exit of people from Afghanistan on Monday, diplomats reported to the German news agency. Adopting a corresponding Franco-British text would, among other things, increase pressure on the Taliban to allow people to leave Kabul safely. Veto powers Russia and China were open to a deal during the weekend’s negotiations, diplomats said. However, approval is not yet certain, he said.
Taliban spokesman Sabiullah Mujahid said Taliban leader Haibatullah Achundsada is in Afghanistan. His whereabouts were unknown for years. Achundsada is currently in talks in Kandahar, Taliban spokesman Sabiullah Mujahid said Sunday evening in an interview with state-run Anadolu news agency in Turkey. Islamists are currently discussing the future government of the country.
Moscow Conference for Reconstruction
Russia on Monday proposed an international conference to rebuild the economy. “All the rich countries of the world must meet with representatives of the new Afghan authorities to discuss questions of economic and social reconstruction,” said the Russian president’s envoy to Afghanistan, Samir Kabulov. First and foremost, he sees the duty of countries that have been deployed with troops in Afghanistan.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the first delivery of medical supplies since the Taliban came to power has arrived in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. A plane made available by the Pakistani government with 12.5 tons of drugs and medical supplies from WHO is the first of a total of three planned aid deliveries.