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Rediff News  All News  » News » 37 killed in Taliban attack on Kandahar airport

37 killed in Taliban attack on Kandahar airport

Last updated on: December 09, 2015 17:49 IST

At least 37 people were reported killed in an attack by Taliban militants on the airport complex in Afghanistan's Kandahar city on Tuesday night. Afghan defence ministry said one gunman was still resisting the security forces.

The military compound attacked by the militants is used by the forces of Afghanistan, United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The gun battle started after the suicide bombers stormed the airport complex. Officials said the militants targeted residential areas.

'Nine insurgents have been killed, one other is injured and another one is still holding up against our forces,' the Afghan defence ministry was quoted as saying by news agencies.

'Unfortunately during the battle, 37 innocent Afghans were killed and 35 others injured,' the ministry said. However, it did not specify how many of those killed were civilians.

Reports also said that the terrorists held hostages as 'human shields' and Afghan security forces 'pleaded them to free women and children'.

The militants breached the first gate of the high-security complex and took up positions in an old school building.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that '150 Afghan and foreign soldiers' had been killed in the fighting.

The attack coincides with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's visit to Islamabad for the 'Heart of Asia' conference.

This was the second major assault in a span of 24 hours in the city.

Image used for representational purposes only. Photograph: John Cantlie/Getty Images