|Afghan police to the attack in Kabul. Photo: Reuters|
UPDATE, 1:08 AM CDT, June 10 -- "Kabul police saying that all 7 bombers whom were wearing Afghan Border police (ABP) uniforms were gunned down 2 civilians injured." via Sharifullah Sahak (@sharifsahak)
The attack focused on the US Air Force facility and a nearby detention center where drug traffickers are held. TOLO news reports the attack is on an area that houses an ISAF/NATO command center. (Via The Australian.) In related news, the British Embassy in Kabul said on June 9 that the Afghan detainees will be handed over very soon, reports TOLO.
June 9, 2013 -- 7:30 PM CDT -- A major terrorist offensive is occurring now at Kabul International Airport. Large explosions and gunfire have been heard, suicide bombers are intruding, and there are reports of insurgents firing rockets. Targeted areas seem to include NATO and US Air Force areas, a counter narcotics building. The attack began around 4:20 AM local time. See current time and weather in Kabul.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. "Spokesman [Zabiullah] Mujahid in a text message to journalists claiming responsibility for #Kabul attack on military side of the airport," tweeted Sharifullah Sahak (@sharifsahak), a journalist working for The New York Times in Kabul.
Chicago News Bench was the first to speculate that the attack might be reprisal for the arrest of a Taliban leader today: "An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader and two other extremists during an operation in Kandahar City, Kandahar province, today. The leader oversees a group of extremists involved in improvised explosive devices operations in Kandahar City. He has a history of building multiple types of IEDs and directing his subordinates to carry out attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in Kandahar City." (Source: ISAF news release, 9 June 2013) 1TV Kabul apparently agrees with Chicago News Bench's assessment, later quoting the same ISAF news release. (Thanks for reading CNB, 1TV!)
"One insurgent detonated himself at compound entrance in the centre of the city at the start of fighting, which left several buildings destroyed or damaged by rocket-propelled grenades, gunfire and explosions," reports The Telegraph UK. "One policeman, two civilians and all four militants died in that attack, with the government lauding the response of the Kabul security forces for preventing further casualties."
The US embassy in Kabul was on lockdown for a while but seems to be in "all clear" status as of approximately 8:15 PM CDT. The embassy earlier confirmed an "on-going attack" in Kabul, the capitol city. The US embassy is located next to NATO's ISAF headquarters (International Security Assistance Force). SEE MAP. At 8:00 PM CDT, ISAF tweeted, "Shelter in Place lifted, Camp Lockdown still in effect at ISAF HQ."
"US embassy in Kabul advising employees for "Duck and Cover"; stay away from windows, wait for further instruction," reported Newsbreaker on Twitter. See earlier, related tweets below.
UPDATE: BBC News reports this: Witnesses reported the sound of explosions and gunfire coming from the airport shortly after dawn. It is not known if there are any casualties. The airport is home to a large Nato-led military base. One report said the US embassy in Kabul had sounded its "duck and cover" alarm. The embassy also announced on loudspeakers that the alarm was not a drill, AFP news agency said. "It's an ongoing gunfight and blasts, and I can tell you that it's a suicide group attack," Kabul's police chief Hashmat Stanikzai told AFP.
UPDATE, 10:53 PM CDT: Sharifullah Sahak (@sharifsahak) tweeted, "AFG Sediq Sediqi MOI spokesman says that three suicide bombers have been killed by the security forces clashes ongoing."
UPDATE, 10:04 PM CDT: Esmatullah Kohsar (@EsmatKohsar) tweeted, "Kabul attack updates: Kabul Police says to have rescued 4 civilians from a house in the stand-off area."
Below are tweets from NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker), with most recent on top.
UPDATE, 8:34 PM CDT: BREAKING UPDATE: @ISAFmedia: Camp Lockdown lifted at ISAF HQ. All Clear sounded. Movement to KIAI Restricted.
UPDATE, 8:04 PM CDT: BREAKING PHOTO: More forces deployed. #KabulAttack. Gunfire ongoing pic.twitter.com/XRZV9CvUH1 @AhMukhtar
NOW: @EsmatKohsar: Kabul attack updates: Gunfire stopped, I see a big convoy of military police + ambulances moving towards Kabuk airport.
DEVELOPING: At least three explosions and gunfire were heard in Kabul, according to a CNN producer in the Afghan capital - @cnnbrk
RIGHT NOW: Heavy fights are going on follows by explosions and fires - @massoud151 #KABUL #AFGHANISTAN
BREAKING UPDATE: @AhMukhtar: Kabul police: insurgents took position inside 1 of the under construction building/targeting Kabul airports
UPDATE, 8:04 PM CDT: NOW: @WilliamsJon: US embassy in Kabul confirms "on-going attack" in capital. Sirens sounding across embassy compound. Next to ISAF HQ
UPDATE, 7:58 PM CDT: MORE DETAILS: Large explosions heard from the military side of Kabul international airport, site of NATO headquarters http://apne.ws/112oWc1
RIGHT NOW: @ISAFmedia: Reports of Attack near #Kabul Airport being investigated. More to follow.
BREAKING UPDATE: @ISAFmedia: Shelter in Place lifted, Camp Lockdown still in effect at ISAF HQ #Afghanistan
UPDATE, 7:53 PM CDT: RIGHT NOW: @sharifsahak: Counter narcotic building which is located to the north of the Kabul airport also under attack.
BREAKING: @sharifsahak: #BOMBING Sources from inside #Kabul airport confirming some militants firing from high building shooting at airport
BREAKING UPDATE: Large explosions heard at NATO command headquarters at Kabul International airport - @AP
NOW: @ahmukhtar: The attack has happened on the military side of Kabul international airport, exact target unknown so far
RIGHT NOW: Explosions and gunfire for last 30 mins in Kabul, Afghanistan. Now sirens. Airport under attack - @raeontheroad
BREAKING: @sharifsahak #AFGHANISTAN Head of #Kabul international airport says that the suicide bombers have entered the US air forces area
RIGHT NOW: Explosions heard and reports of gunfire at Kabul international airport: Reuters witnesses and police - @reuters
BREAKING: @sharifsahak Police sourcing saying #Kabul attack target is military part of airport which is used by US soldiers
DEVELOPING: Duck and Cover Alarm announced at US EMBASSY #KABUL @USEmbassyKabul Situation is being investigated - @ISAFmedia
BREAKING UPDATE: @MASSOUD151: Insurgents fire rockets through military airport in #Kabul Afghanistan
BREAKING: Suicide attack on #Kabul, Afghanistan airport - Kabul police spox - @dylanwelch
NOW: Heavy gunshots and explosions heard from inside #Kabul airport more updates all diplomatic areas locked down more later - @sharifsahak
DEVELOPING: Huge explosion followed by gunshots heard in northeast Kabul, Afghanistan - @ahmukhtar
BREAKING: US embassy in Kabul advising employees for "Duck and Cover"; stay away from windowS, wait for further instructions - @sharifsahak
A special "hello" to our friends at the Flower Street Cafe in Kabul.