Five rockets fired at US air base in Afghanistan

The Taliban denied any involvement in the attack
Last Updated 19 December 2020, 12:30 IST

A major US air base north of Kabul was targeted in a dawn rocket attack on Saturday but there were no casualties or damage to the airfield, officials said.

Five rockets were fired at Bagram Airfield at 6:00 am, said Parwan province spokeswoman Waheeda Shahkar, adding that police had defused another seven rockets mounted on a vehicle used in the attack.

A NATO official also confirmed the assault.

"Rockets were fired towards Bagram Airfield this morning. Initial reporting is there were no casualties and the airfield was not damaged," the official said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, and the Taliban denied any involvement.

The jihadist Islamic State group previously claimed responsibility for a similar rocket attack on the base in April.

In recent months, IS has claimed several assaults in Kabul, including two deadly rocket attacks that struck residential areas in the capital.

The group also claimed brutal attacks on two separate educational centres in Kabul that killed dozens of people, most of them students.

Saturday's attack came a day after 15 children were killed when an explosives-laden motorbike blew up near a religious gathering in eastern Ghazni province.

Afghan officials blamed the Taliban for the blast.

Violence has surged in Afghanistan in recent months despite the government and the Taliban launching peace talks to end the country's grinding war.

The Taliban has carried out near-daily attacks targeting Afghan forces that have left hundreds of security personnel killed or wounded.

Attacks by the militants had killed nearly 500 civilians and wounded more than 1,000 others over the past three months, the interior ministry said on Saturday.

Earlier this week in Qatar, General Mark Milley, the US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held a rare meeting with Taliban representatives, calling on them to reduce violence in Afghanistan.

(Published 19 December 2020, 12:17 IST)

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