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Militants Launch Bold Attack on Kabul Airport

Taliban fighters seized building to fire at air traffic
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 17, 2014 2:03 AM CDT
Militants Launch Bold Attack on Kabul Airport
A US helicopter flies during clashes between Taliban fighters and Afghan government forces in Kabul today.   (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

(Newser) – Gunmen carried out an audacious pre-dawn rocket attack on Kabul International Airport today, temporarily shutting down the facility and setting off a gun battle with security forces in which four attackers were killed, officials say. The militants occupied two buildings which were under construction a few hundred yards north of the facility, and were using them as a base to direct rockets and gunfire toward the airport and international jet fighters flying over Kabul, an Afghan army general says.

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Kabul's chief of police later said the attack was halted without any civilian or police casualties. The airport was reopened and operations returned to normal, he said, after security forces inspected the runways for shrapnel and explosives. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack on the airport, which hosts civilian traffic and serves as a base for NATO-led forces. Earlier this week, 89 people were killed in the country's worst bombing since the US-led invasion in 2001. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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