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Second rocket attack on Kabul in weeks leaves one dead

By PHILLIP WALTER WELLMAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 12, 2020

KABUL, Afghanistan — At least one person was killed and two others injured Saturday morning when a series of rockets targeted different parts of the capital.

Three rockets landed near the city’s international airport and adjacent military base — which houses U.S. and coalition troops — but injured no one, the Interior Ministry said.

Seven rockets hit northern Kabul, killing one civilian and injuring two others, ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said in a statement.

Islamic State claimed responsibility on its affiliated Amaq News site, saying it fired 10 Katyusha rockets toward Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, The Associated Press reported.

A window of one of the aircraft parked at the airport was damaged by a ricocheting piece of a shell, according to an airport official who didn’t want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media. No one was hurt. The aircraft was empty.

The attack came three weeks after a similar attack on the city killed eight people and wounded dozens. That attack was later claimed by the local Islamic State affiliate, known as Islamic State Khorasan Province.

ISIS has claimed some of the most brutal attacks in Afghanistan in recent months, including an attack on Kabul University in November that killed 22 and wounded 40.

The Taliban have also continued attacks throughout the country despite the start of peace talks in September between the group and Afghan government officials.

All international forces could pull out of Afghanistan by May if certain conditions are met, under a U.S.-Taliban deal signed in February.

The Pentagon is on track to reduce the number of American troops in the country to 2,500 by mid-January, despite previous military assessments that called for a larger footprint due to the situation on the ground.

Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.

wellman.phillip@stripes.com
Twitter: @pwwellman