The US has said its anti-missile system in Kabul has intercepted up to five rockets, which were fired towards the airport in Afghanistan’s capital on Monday.
The rockets were fired on the eve of the deadline for American troops to withdraw from the country’s longest war after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
The rockets did not halt the steady stream of U.S. military C-17 cargo jets taking off and landing at Hamid Karzai International Airport in the Afghan capital.
It is not clear who launched the missiles as no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
It also was not immediately clear if anyone was hurt.
The rockets landed across town in Kabul’s Salim Karwan neighbourhood, striking residential apartment blocks, witnesses said. That neighbourhood is some 3 kilometres (1.86 miles) from the airport. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
In Washington, the White House issued a statement saying officials briefed President Joe Biden on “the rocket attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport” in Kabul, apparently referring to the vehicle-based rocket launch that morning.
“The president was informed that operations continue uninterrupted at HKIA, and has reconfirmed his order that commanders redouble their efforts to prioritize doing whatever is necessary to protect our forces on the ground,” the statement said, using an acronym for Kabul’s airport.
The U.S. military did not respond to requests for comment. After the rocket fire, planes continued to land and taxi across to the northern military side of the airport. Planes took off roughly every 20 minutes at one point Monday morning.
The airport repeatedly has been a scene of chaos in the two weeks since the Taliban blitz across Afghanistan that took control of the country, nearly 20 years after the initial U.S. invasion that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The US has carried out two separate drone strikes on Islamic State targets since Thursday when as many as 170 people died in a suicide attack outside the airport – including 13 American troops
The Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.
Additional reporting from AP and BBC