Taliban attack Kandahar airport, casualties reported
December 8, 2015
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents launched a deadly attack near a large military base in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday night, leaving an unknown number of Afghan troops and civilians dead.
No American or coalition troops were reported injured or killed.
The attack happened near Kandahar Air Field, a former hub for coalition military forces, where roughly 2,000 American troops are still based, according to Col. Michael Lawhorn, a spokesman for Resolute Support, as the international military coalition in Afghanistan is known.
The attackers took up positions in a school building outside the base and fired small arms including rocket-propelled grenade launchers, though they did not breach the base perimeter, Lawhorn said.
A spokesman for the Kandahar provincial government said the attack took place near the Kandahar airport, which is attached to the military base, and that three militants had killed both Afghan troops and civilians.
He said Afghan troops were still conducting clearing operations late Tuesday and could not provide a casualty number.
Kandahar is the largest city in southern Afghanistan and the Taliban’s spiritual heartland. The Taliban, who often exaggerate the effects of their attacks, claimed responsibility on their website, saying five attackers killed scores of international and Afghan troops.
Roughly 10,000 U.S. troops remains in Afghanistan, largely in an advisory role, though thousands are conducting counterterrorism operations as well. Continued fierce fighting between insurgents and Afghan troops prompted President Barack Obama to extend the American military mission in the country and keep troop levels much higher than originally planned.
Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report