published Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Afghan official says gunmen attack Kabul Airport

  • photo
    Smoke rises from the Kabul airport after an attack in Afghanistan, Thursday, July 3, 2014. An Afghan official says militants fired two rockets into the military side of the Kabul airport, striking President Hamid Karzai's helicopter as it sat on the tarmac.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Gunmen used rockets to attack the Kabul International Airport in the Afghanistan capital Thursday, a senior military official said.

The gunmen occupied two buildings, which were under construction, 700 meters (yards) north of the airport, and were using them as a base to fire rockets and gunfire toward the airport and ISAF jet fighters flying over Kabul, said Afzal Aman, a general in the Afghan army in Kabul.

Aman said several rockets hit the airport but no planes had been damaged so far. He said two attackers had been killed by Afghan forces.

He said the fighting was going on and that the gunmen had been surrounded by Afghan forces. Alarms had also sounded at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, as they usually do when there is an attack in the city. ISAF jet fighters were also patrolling over the city.

The predawn attack comes during a tense time in Afghanistan as a recount is underway from the second round of a disputed presidential election.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi says the gunmen who captured the building have been surrounded by the police. He did not have any other immediate details.

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