As many as five rockets were fired at Kabul airport, a US official told Reuters, but they were intercepted by a missile defense system. Meanwhile the US prepares to withdraw its troops completely from the city.
The official, who requested anonymity, said the rockets were launched early Monday morning in Kabul time, though it was unclear whether all of them were intercepted by the defense system.
According to the official, initial reports did not indicate any U.S. casualties, but that information could change.
Witnesses have also said the rockets did strike neighborhood near Kabul’s international airport amid ongoing US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
American forces launched a drone strike in Kabul earlier on Sunday, targeting a suicide bomber in a vehicle who was planning an attack on the airport.
U.S. troops rush to evacuate remaining American citizens and at-risk Afghans before completing their own withdrawal by Aug. 3. There is growing concern that Islamic State militants will attack the airport again.
Officials had previously warned that ISIS-K militants were planning a rocket attack on the airport. However, the US has combat experience with such rockets, primarily in Iraq, and has already installed missile defense systems.
“We know that they (ISIS-K) would like to lob a rocket in there, if they could,” General Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, told reporters in Washington last week.
“Now we actually have pretty good protection against that. We have our anti-rocket and mortar system,” McKenzie said.
Following a suicide bomb attack on Thursday that killed scores of Afghans and 13 US service members, there is increased concern about suicide bombers and car bombs attacking the airport.
President Joe Biden of the United States said on Saturday that the situation on the ground remained extremely dangerous, and that his military chiefs had told him that another militant attack was highly likely within the next 24-36 hours.