Explosions at airport as USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders land - reports of gunfire

Explosions at airport as USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders land - reports of gunfire

Explosions at airport as USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders land - reports of gunfire

The Taliban and the Islamic State have claimed responsibility for a rocket attack at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday - which militants say was an attempt to kill U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish confirmed the rocket attacks on Wednesday, saying that one rocket had hit a nearby home, injuring five civilians.

Mattis at a press conference elsewhere in Kabul called the attack a "criminal act by terrorists" and the reason why the U.S.is fighting the Taliban.

Taliban targets United States defence secretary with rocket attack on Kabul airport after he arrived on an unannounced visit.

The injured civilians were rushed to hospital and their health condition was said to be stable, said Danish, adding the attack was brought to an end at 6pm, when all the three assailants were killed.

Mattis is the first member of the Donald Trump's cabinet to visit the war-torn country ever since the US President pledged to stay on course in America's war against terror outfits in Afghanistan.

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Hours later, the Iraqi government called on all countries "to deal only with it on matters of oil and borders". The vote on independence was the top story in the majority of Iranian newspapers.

Mattis's comments were backed up by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who was also in the country for a series of meetings alongside Mattis and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

During a press conference they explained the new US Afghanistan strategy that includes an increase of some 3000 US soldiers as well as moderate troop reinforcements from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members.

Mattis said U.S. forces would do "everything humanly possible" to limit the civilian casualties that fueled bitter disputes between Washington and the government of former president Hamid Karzai.

On allegations that Iran and Russian Federation are actively propping up the Taliban, Mattis said it would be "extremely unwise if they think they can somehow support terrorism in another country and not have it come back to haunt them".

Hundreds of Taliban insurgents have attacked a security post in Afghanistan's western Farha province, killing at least 10 police and threatening to overrun the position. "We take every precaution to avoid civilian casualties, even as the enemies of Afghanistan continue to operate in locations that deliberately put civilians at very high risk". An additional 3,500 additional troops will reportedly be sent to the militancy-battered country to bolster the backing of the Afghan forces' ongoing ousting of insurgents.

According to media reports, there are 11,000 US troops in Afghanistan operating under the auspices of the RS and the Pentagon. "If NATO forces leave too soon, there is a risk Afghanistan may return to a state of chaos and once again become a safe haven for worldwide terrorism".

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