Three rockets hit Kandahar airport in Afghanistan just a few hours before the Taliban seized Kandahar and two other major cities – Herat and Lashkar Gah.
According to the reports, on Saturday night, three rockets hit Ahmad Shah Baba International Airport, located about 9 miles southeast of the city Kandahar. It is yet to be known the identity of the attackers who launched the rockets, however, it is suspected that the Taliban may have launched the attacks in a bid to take over the strategic airport hours before taking control of the city.
Rockets hit Kandahar airport in Afghanistan, airport official: AFP pic.twitter.com/sRtxK5Rm0t— ANI (@ANI) August 1, 2021
Following the attacks, the airport has been shut down, and the flight operations have been halted, said Kandahar airport chief Massoud Pashtun. He added that the repairs work have started and may begin the operations by the end of the day.
“Last night, three rockets were fired at the airport, and two of them hit the runway… Due to this, all flights from the airport have been cancelled,” airport chief Massoud Pashtun said.
Kandahar’s airbase is considered strategically important to provide the logistics and air support to the Afghan national forces to keep the terrorists from overrunning Afghanistan’s second-biggest city.
On Sunday, the fighting between Afghan National Forces and the Taliban escalated, with the Taliban seizing three major cities in southern and western Afghanistan as the Taliban continue to advance against the government forces. Taliban fighters now control parts of Herat, Lashkar Gah and Kandahar.
Since the withdrawal of the US troops, the Taliban have made rapid gains in rural areas of Afghanistan. However, lately, the Taliban, backed by Pakistan Army, is also taking over important districts and urban centres, creating a ground for further escalations in a country that is already ravaged by decades of war.
The onslaught of the Taliban has fuelled fears of the worst humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.