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Five rockets fired at US air base in Afghanistan

Five rockets were fired at Bagram US Airfield in Parwan province at 6:00 am, said Waheeda Shahkar, spokeswoman for the provincial governor

AFP , Saturday 19 Dec 2020
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A major US air base north of Kabul was targeted in a rocket attack on Saturday but there were no casualties or damage to the airfield, NATO and Afghan officials said.

Five rockets were fired at Bagram Airfield in Parwan province at 6:00 am, said Waheeda Shahkar, spokeswoman for the provincial governor.

She said 12 rockets were mounted on a vehicle and five of them were fired at the base, while police defused the other seven.

A NATO official also confirmed the rocket attack.

"Rockets were fired towards Bagram Airfield this morning. Initial reporting is there were no casualties and the airfield was not damaged," the official said.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, and the Taliban denied any involvement.

The jihadist Islamic State group previously claimed responsibility for a similar rocket attack on the base in April.

In recent months, IS has claimed several assaults in Kabul, including two rocket attacks that struck several residential areas in the capital, causing fatalities.

The group also claimed brutal attacks on two separate educational centres in Kabul that left dozens of people, mostly students, dead.

Saturday's rocket attack targeting the airfield came a day after 15 children were killed when an explosives-laden motorbike blew up near a religious gathering in the eastern province of Ghazni.

Afghan officials blamed the Taliban for the blast.

Violence has surged in Afghanistan in recent months despite the government and the Taliban launching peace talks to end the country's grinding war.

The Taliban has carried out near-daily attacks targeting Afghan forces that have left hundreds of security personnel killed or wounded.

Earlier this week in Qatar, General Mark Milley, the US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held a rare meeting with Taliban representatives, calling on them to reduce violence in Afghanistan.

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