Several rockets have been fired close to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul just hours after United States Defense Secretary James Mattis landed in Afghanistan's capital to hold talks with President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday.
Twenty to thirty rockets landed at Hamid Karzai International Airport in the centre of Kabul, Tolo news reported. There are no reports of causalities yet.
The airport has been evacuated and all flights have been cancelled for now.
Hamid Karzai International Airport serves as one of the country’s largest military bases, used by the United States Armed Forces and NATO's International Security Assistance Force.
The military of Afghanistan also has a base there, while the Afghan National Police provide security inside the passenger terminals.
No group has claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks yet.
Mattis is in Afghanistan to hold talks with the Afghan president and other Afghan government ministers. Later, he will hold a press conference with Ghani and the NATO chief.
Mattis’ unannounced visit to Afghanistan, after his two-day trip in India, assumes significance as United States President Donald Trump said that he would rely on greater regional cooperation to stabilise the security situation in Afghanistan.
On that note, while assuring Mattis that India will continue its development and medical assistance in Afghanistan, Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman clearly stated, “There shall not be any Indian boots on the ground in Afghanistan.”
Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters