Taliban fighters hit Kandahar airport in southern Afghanistan with at least three rockets overnight, the insurgent group spokesman said on Sunday, adding that the aim was to thwart the airstrikes. carried out by Afghan government forces.
“Kandahar airport was targeted by us because the enemy was using it as a center to carry out airstrikes against us,” Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told Reuters.
Afghan government officials said the rocket attacks forced authorities to suspend all flights and the runway was partially damaged. There were no immediate reports of casualties, they said.
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Officials have said the Taliban see Kandahar as a major strategic point, which they appear to be using as a center of control to gain complete dominance over five other provinces.
Clashes between Afghan forces and Taliban fighters have intensified in the towns of Kandahar and neighboring Helmand province.
In the west, Afghan officials said Taliban commanders were quickly taking control of strategic buildings around the town of Heraat, forcing civilians to stay at home.
The Taliban advanced into Afghanistan after US and NATO troops withdrew from the country, and in recent weeks the fundamentalist Islamist group has said it has captured more than half of Afghan territory, including border crossings with Iran. and Pakistan.