Taliban, ISIS claim responsibility for attacking Kabul airport: Mattis was target

In the ongoing attacks in Kabul, at least one civilian is said to be injured. the attacks started at the Hamid Karzai International Airport hours after Mattis and Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general, arrived in Kabul for talks with Afghan officials and to meet U.S. forces,

The Taliban and the Islamic State both claimed responsibility for the initial rocket attacks on Kabul’s international airport this afternoon. The Taliban said the target was Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, local broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

Shortly afterward, ISIS claimed responsibility through its Amaq news agency.

The trip marks Mattis’ first visit to the country since US President Donald Trump’s pledge last month to win America’s longest war.

“At 11.36 am two missiles were fired on Kabul International Airport from Deh Sabz district, damaging the air force hangers and destroying one helicopter and damaging three other helicopters, but there were no casualties,” said Kabul airport Chief Yaqub Rassouli, according to media reports.

Both Mattis and the NATO chief condemned Taliban. “The Taliban cannot win on the battlefield; it’s time for them to join the peace process,” General John Nicholson told reporters in Kabul. “We will not fail in Afghanistan; our national security depends on that as well.”

 

 

(( Astha Bansal, NewsEye, with TOLOnews inputs)