Kandahar airport attack by Taliban eclipses “Heart of Asia” conference, dozens dead

CVz415EWsAAt2Ez

Aftermath of assault by Taliban at Kandahar airbase (Image via Sky News)

The Taliban in Afghanistan launched a fierce assault on Kandahar International Airport using 14 “mujahideen” fighters which continued for over 24 hours after it began. The large complex is located 10 miles south-east of Kandahar City and contains one of the largest military bases in Afghanistan as well as serving civilians. AP reported that according to Samim Khopalwaq, the spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor, the Taliban targeted the facility’s main gate on Tuesday evening. Latest casualty figures released by the Afghan ministry of defence to Military Times claimed 38 people were killed, 37 civilians and one Afghan army soldier. This could not be independently confirmed, figures are not always accurate with Islamic Emirate claiming the state uses “propaganda” and lies” regarding reports on internal conflict. Islamic Emirate and supporters give another account of figures.

Habibullah Helal reporting from inside Afghanistan tweeted an image of the site with the words,

Here are thousands of American & NATO invaders Now under fierce assault of Mujahideen

CVt4VCPXIAAbF2-

Helal later tweeted.

Radio contact confirms 150 enemy’s killed.  tha

and

Flash: Pictures of Mujahideen stormed air field killing 150 invaders / puppets. tense fighting ongoing

CVtxBpsW4AAG1Lc

Some of the fighters allegedly involved in Kandahar attack

Abdulqahar Balkhi an account affiliated with the Taliban initially tweeted that an attack was carried out on Monday evening at a police station in PD9 of Kandahar city which involved fighters dressed in police uniform and lasted until 11pm. Details of alleged deaths are included in the statement. The report read, “officials say that an interview has been conducted with the 2 martyrdom seekers that came back alive and their testimony about the incident will be published soon” see following link,

“Enemy suffers heavy losses in Kandahar martyr attack”

http://shahamat-english.com/enemy-suffers-heavy-losses-in-kandahar-martyr-attack/

Balkhi later tweeted,

Martyrdom seekers:: over 150 invaders/hirelings killed, 13 APCs destroyed with RPG fire, intense clashes ongoing

Mujahid via phone says another enemy offensive repelled at 3pm, enemy used phosphorous but did not harm Mujahidin, more later

It appeared Kandahar was not the only area to be targeted, Balkhi also tweeted

Khani Sheen district HQ (), police HQ, admin buildings, bazaar & all surrounding bases/CPs completely liberated

Jafar Haand tweeted,

This is the latest picture of the .

CVypngOVEAE9DPD

Ahmadullah Faizi, director of Kandahar airport told AFP news agency that some passengers were trapped inside a terminal, they were waiting to fly to India and were some distance from the fighting. Security forces were proceeding cautiously in other areas where hostages including women and children were alleged to have been taken according to Sky News. There were reports from Taliban sources that aircraft had been destroyed

As the “Heart of Asia” conference got underway in Islamabad, attended by President Ashraf Ghani (Afghanistan) and President Nawaz Sharif (Pakistan) alongside other other key regional leaders, the security situation in the region looked grim. Ghani said, “I don’t believe in blame games, but for the sake of peace and harmony, all regional countries must work together against all terrorist groups.” (There has been longstanding tensions between the two countries.) However the Taliban had another message,

Sabiq Jihadmal tweeted.

Video Message Of Air Base Martyrs To Your Troops Not Safe In Afghanistan!!

12308808_103427940030043_2148349245250477615_n

One of the attackers with a warning to President Obama

A video showed 10 Taliban fighters dressed in white in front of their flag as the spokesperson delivered his message first in Pashto, then English waving a knife. He stated, “it is my suggestion from Obama. Obama, you are not safe in Afghanistan. When you are go anywhere, we will kill them there. We will finish your technology and kill your power.”

News of the Taliban attack overshadowed the Heart of Asia conference. India & Pakistan released a joint statement in Express Tribune saying,

“both sides, accordingly, agreed to a Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue and directed the foreign secretaries to work out the modalities and schedule of the meetings under the dialogue including peace and security, CBMs, Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project, economic and commercial Cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues, people to people exchanges and religious tourism,”

The rhetoric sounds promising however ground realities show that achieving meaningful steps towards the stated goals will be extremely challenging given the current instability and security problems within the region.

Links

“Taliban seize another district in Helmand province”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/12041851/Taliban-seize-another-district-in-Helmand-province.html

“Opinion: Heart of Asia close to collapse”

http://www.dw.com/en/opinion-heart-of-asia-close-to-collapse/a-18904257

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”

 

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s