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Taliban attacks Kabul during North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief, United States defense secretary visits, killing 4

28 September, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • US Still Seeks Diplomatic Solution to North Korea Crisis, Mattis Says

Forty to 45 rockets and rocket-propelled grenades landed near a passenger terminal at Kabul's worldwide airport Wednesday less than two hours after U.S. Defense Secratry James Mattis arrived there.

Najib Danish, spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, says Wednesday there are no reports of casualties from the attack.

An Afghan official says at least six mortar rounds have landed in the eastern part of the Kabul global airport.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis was targeted by a rocket attack, whose responsibility was claimed by both the Taliban and ISIS.

Mattis and Stoltenberg will meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, U.S. commanders and soldiers, as well as NATO's Resolute Support mission for the training of Afghan forces, Captain William Salvin said.

"We maintain the capability to deter North Korea's most risky threats, but we also will back up our diplomats in a manner to keep this as long as possible in the diplomatic realm", Mattis told reporters in New Delhi, following talks with his Indian counterpart.

Mattis is the first member of US President Donald Trump's cabinet to visit Afghanistan since Washington announced to stay course in that country.

The President declared he would no longer announce troop levels but would focus on allowing United States forces to target the Taliban and other terrorist groups wherever they were in Afghanistan. Mattis warned that this kind of attack will only lead to firmer retaliation from Afghan security forces.

The war turns 16 next month, and is America's longest- ever conflict.

Trump has stressed that the USA troops will only be withdrawn based on conditions on the ground, and has refused to set fixed withdrawal dates, as did his predecessor, Barack Obama.

The unannounced high-level visit came as Afghanistan's beleaguered security forces struggle to beat back the Taliban, which has been on the offensive since the withdrawal of US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation combat troops at the end of 2014.

Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack on his official Twitter account.

"No other country desires peace in war-torn Afghanistan than Pakistan", he added.

Local media outlets cited sources and eyewitnesses in the city's 9th police district as saying that the rockets had been launched from a residential building, which was reportedly surrounded for a search operation.

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