At least 37 people have been killed and 35 others wounded, after Taliban militants stormed Afghanistan’s Kandahar Airport late on Tuesday. “Nine insurgents have been killed, while one other is injured and another one is still holding up against our forces,” the Afghan defence ministry told AFP on Wednesday.
The Afghan government had earlier advised local residents to stay indoors, with continuous gunfire and explosions being reported. The attack on the airport complex, which also serves as a joint Nato-Afghan base, coincides with the high-profile visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Islamabad for a regional conference.
Earlier, a spokesman for the provincial governor, Samim Khopalwaq, had told AFP that "several insurgents" had attacked a school within the airport premises and that local commandos had been deployed to fight them. According to airport director Ahmadullah Faizi, several passengers were also trapped inside.
Militant violence has increased in Afghanistan over the last few months, with the Taliban making gains after most Nato and US forces left the country. According to Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a purported Taliban spokesman, Tuesday's attack was part of an offensive they named the Resolute Operation.