Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Afghan Ballot Audit Starts; Kabul Airport Attacked

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Afghan Ballot Audit Starts; Kabul Airport Attacked

Article excerpt

KABUL, Afghanistan * Afghanistan's election commission began auditing ballots Thursday following a U.S.-brokered deal between the two presidential contenders while a brazen attack on the Kabul airport underscored the dangers the country still faces in its troubled democracy.

The pre-dawn rocket attack on Kabul International Airport temporarily shut down the facility and set off a gunbattle with security forces in which four attackers were killed, officials said.

The militants occupied two buildings that were under construction some 700 yards north of the facility and used them to direct rockets and gunfire toward the airport and international jet fighters flying over Kabul, said Afghan army Gen. Afzal Aman. Several rockets hit the airport but no planes were damaged, he added.

Kabul Police Chief Mohammed Zahir said four of the attackers were killed and that the attack was halted without any civilian or police casualties. The airport later reopened and operations returned to normal, Zahir said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn assault in a call to The Associated Press.

The airport hosts civilian traffic and serves as a base for NATO- led forces that have been fighting the Taliban and other insurgents for more than a decade. Rocket attacks near the airport are not rare, but are not usually this close.

The attack comes at a tense time in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the disputed second round of a presidential election seen as key to insuring a peaceful transfer of power ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign troops by the end of the year.

Unofficial and disputed preliminary results showed former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai well ahead of his rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.

But since fraud was alleged on both sides, the deal negotiated over the weekend by U. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.