KABUL: At least 20 rockets landed near the Kabul international airport on Wednesday hours after US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in the Afghan capital.
Kabul airport Chief Yaqub Rassouli said the rockets hit the Air Force hangars in the northern part. The missiles were fired from Deh Sabz district of Kabul.
“At 11.36 a.m., two missiles were fired on Kabul airport, damaging the hangers and destroying one helicopter and damaging three other helicopters but there were no casualties,” Rassouli said.
Military helicopters hovered over the site and the airport’s sirens were heard after the incident.
Sporadic gun fire erupted briefly later. The security forces launched a search operation for the attackers.
The Taliban and the Islamic State both claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Kabul’s international airport Wednesday. The Taliban said the target was Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who is making an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, local broadcaster reported.
The NATO Mission in Afghanistan said Defence Secretary Mattis and the NATO chief had arrived at the NATO Headquarters in Kabul where they will inspect the international troops and also meet Afghan authorities including President Ashraf Ghani.