Several rockets have been fired at Kabul’s international airport, a day before the deadline for the US troops to pull out of Afghanistan ends.
The White House, which confirmed the attack, said that evacuation operations at the airport were not interrupted, adding that US President Joe Biden was briefed about the latest rocket attack on Monday morning aimed at the Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul.
A US official told the press that some of the rockets were intercepted by a missile defence system.
The attack comes a day after the US forces launched a second drone attack in Afghanistan after Thursday’s suicide bombing at the airport that left nearly 200 people dead. At least 13 US troops were also among those killed.
The US said it had wanted to take out suicide bombers in the latest drone attack in Kabul but media reports say several children were killed in the incident that destroyed a car laden with explosives.
Taliban condemns US attack in Kabul
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, has condemned the United States for launching an attack in Kabul without informing it first, according to an interview on China’s state television CGTN.
The spokesman told CGTN that it is unlawful for the US to launch attacks in other countries at will, adding that seven people were killed in Sunday’s drone strike.
“If there was any potential threat in Afghanistan, it should have been reported to us, not an arbitrary attack that has resulted in civilian casualties,” Mujahid said in a written response to CGTN.
US has capacity to evacuate remaining Americans: Official
The United States has the capacity to evacuate the approximately 300 US citizens remaining in Afghanistan who want to leave before the Tuesday deadline, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan says.
“We have the capacity to have 300 Americans, which is roughly the number we think are remaining, come to the airport and get on planes in the time that is remaining,” he said.
Sullivan said the US does not currently plan to have an ongoing embassy presence after the final US troop withdrawal. But he pledged the US “will make sure there is safe passage for any American citizen, any legal permanent resident” after Tuesday, as well as for “those Afghans who helped us”.