KABUL – All seven militants who launched an attack Monday on Kabul airport died in the assault, Afghan police said, adding that no civilian and security force casualties had yet been reported.
Afghan officials announced that the insurgents had been neutralized few hours after the siege began at around 4:30 am local time on Monday.
The area was quickly sealed off by security forces, and helicopters patrolled the area. Local residents said they heard at least a dozen explosions coming from the military section of the airport. They described hearing rocket-propelled grenade blasts along with automatic weapons fire, AP reported.
“There were seven assailants – two (suicide bombers) died detonating themselves and five others were killed in fighting,” Mohammad Ayoub Salangi, chief of Kabul police, told reporters.
“There have not been any casualties to the security forces, and we have not (received) any report of civilian casualties so far.”
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was part of a “spring offensive” they pledged last month to launch on alliance military bases and diplomatic centers.
“Today… there was a massive attack on the foreign military side of Kabul airport,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a text message sent to reporters. “The enemy has suffered major casualties,” he added, although no military casualties have yet been reported.
Kabul International Airport is home to the NATO Joint Command headquarters, and all flights in and out of the airport have been canceled due to the attack. Other NATO bases across the Afghan capital were also locked down.