Taliban siege at Afghan airport leaves 37 dead

An Afghan security man stands guard at police station after clashes between the Afghan police and Taliban militants at a police station in the city of Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Afghan forces have struggled to roll back the Taliban advances since the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formally concluded their combat mission at the end of past year.

“One of the suicide bombers blew himself up at the entrance gate at first and opened way to other attackers”, the Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement earlier Wednesday.

“It is my suggestion from Obama: Obama, you are not safe in Afghanistan”, one of the attackers said in broken English, brandishing a knife.

He said the blood of innocent people spilled in recent attacks was “the same colour as the red carpet we trod like a catwalk”. The commanders spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

More than 60 people were killed in the Kandahar airport siege that started late on Tuesday and lasted for more than 24 hours, said an official on Thursday. But the militants have often made exaggerated casualty claims in the past.

Seventy-nine people killed, including 59 children and six parliamentarians, in a suicide attack in a factory north ofKabul. Recently, there’ve been reports that these tensions led to a gunfight in which Mansoor was injured and possibly killed. The coalition said conducted “force protection measures to ensure all service members and civilians at the airport remained safe”.

Omar’s deputy, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, took over as leader but violent splits have emerged in the militant group, dimming prospects for negotiations while Mansour seeks to consolidate his position, analysts say.

The Taliban have stepped up their attacks across the country, including a September battle which saw them capture and hold the northern city of Kunduz for three days.

Afghan social media was flooded with angry attacks on the government, with many pointing to headlines in Pakistani newspapers welcoming Nabil’s departure.

A number of hostages were seized by the insurgents in the 26-hour attack before Afghan forces finally regained control.

They also gave a grossly exaggerated death toll saying that the assailants reported over telephone as having killed around 80 Afghan and foreign forces, and destroying 13 armoured carriers.

The attack comes amid reports of infighting among Taliban leaders.

Web Monitoring Desk

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