March 21, 2018

Five civilians wounded in attack on Kabul airport

01 October 2017, 12:50 | Marta Robbins

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An American airstrike on insurgents on Wednesday caused several casualties when a United States missile malfunctioned as coalition forces from Afghanistan and the USA attempted to counter a Taliban attack at Kabul airport shortly after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in the capital city. The Interior Ministry said one Afghan civilian was killed and at least 11 others were injured after an insurgent rocket hit a house near the combined civil and military airport. One of the missiles malfunctioned, causing an several casualties, RS said.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said it "deeply regrets the harm to non-combatants" and an investigation was under way into the attack and the defective ammunition.

"There has been an attack, our special forces are dealing with it", Ghani said during a news conference on Wednesday.

Mattis held closed-door talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in an unannounced trip to Kabul, his first to the country since the Trump administration announced its new strategy for Afghanistan.

"We aren't flawless guys, but we are good guys", Mattis said, vowing to protect Afghan civilians.

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A sticky bomb, attached to a police vehicle, killed two Afghan policemen and a civilian in an attack on Thursday evening in Kabul, a spokesman said.

According to CNN, Mattis had not been fully briefed on the attack before speaking at Wednesday's press conference. Mattis declined to provide details of the plan. "We were told by our insiders that some losses were caused to their installations but we are not sure about James Mattis".

In August, Trump said before a gathering of American troops at Fort Myer, Virginia, that he had originally meant to pull out of Afghanistan, but ultimately concluded that "a hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum for terrorists, including ISIS and al-Qaeda", and also dishonor the more than 2,200 USA troops who have died fighting in the country.

The U.S. defense secretary announced that more Americans are to be brought in.

Arriving from India, where he sought support for the U.S. administration's new South Asia security plan, Mattis said the United States was determined not to allow "a merciless enemy to kill its way to power". The Taliban are now said to claim more territory now than at any time since a US -led invasion overthrew their regime in 2001.

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