Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan comes under attack
By PHILLIP WALTER WELLMAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 9, 2020
KABUL, Afghanistan — The Islamic State group fired several rockets at Bagram Airfield on Thursday, the latest in a string of recent attacks targeting the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan.
Five rockets were launched from a Toyota Corona at the airfield shortly before 6 a.m., provincial authorities said.
“Foreign forces intercepted two of the rockets in the air, and the other three landed outside the base,” said Wahida Shahkar, a spokeswoman for the governor of Parwan province, where the base is located.
No civilians or Afghan security force personnel were injured in the attack, she said.
Authorities found the burnt-out Corona abandoned in the Dasht-e-Sofyan area, several miles from the airfield, Shahkar said.
The U.S.-led NATO Resolute Support mission said that “there were no casualties or injuries” among foreign troops at Bagram, which is about 40 miles north of Kabul.
The Taliban quickly denied any involvement in the attack. Hours later, Islamic State–Khorasan claimed responsibility.
ISIS-K also carried out an attack against Bagram on March 21, in which nobody was injured.
That attack was one of at least four launched against the airfield last month, Parwan police chief Mohamad Mahfooz Alizad said.
The Taliban considers ISIS-K an enemy and the two groups have fought each other on several occasions. However, Alizad said he suspects the Taliban may have been behind the earlier Bagram attacks, but denied involvement to appear compliant with an agreement with the U.S., which could see all international troops pull out of Afghanistan by early next year.
Thursday’s attack came as a lockdown continued in parts of Afghanistan, including Parwan province and large cities like Kabul, to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.