January 17, 2018
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4 killed, 11 injured in Kabul airport attack during Mattis official visit

Kabul, Sep 27 (efe-epa).- One woman and three attackers died while 11 other people were injured Wednesday in a rocket attack that struck Kabul international airport, triggering a six-hour security operation, according to Afghan officials.

The attack took place as United States Defense Secretary James Mattis and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg visited Afghanistan.

"The clearance operations in the area has ended, all three attackers, who took position in a residential house, were killed," Interior Ministry spokesperson Najib Danish told EFE.

"The situation in the area is currently calm and under control," he added.

Danish confirmed that the three were responsible for unleashing "several rockets" near the airport around the time Mattis and Stoltenberg arrived earlier in the morning.

He said the number of rockets was not clear, but there had been "more than three."

The attackers had hidden in a building near the airport following the attack, where they were shot and killed by security forces during a six-hour operation.

Kabul Police spokesperson Basir Mujahid told EFE that one of the attackers had died in a yard minutes after the attack began.

Two projectiles had fallen on two houses, killing a woman and injuring 11 other civilians, according to Mujahid.

Some of the rockets fell in the airport's military zone, but Defense Ministry spokesperson Muhammad Radmanish told EFE they landed in a disused area and did not cause any damage.

Militants belonging to the Taliban and the Islamic State terror organization claimed responsibility for the attack.

At the time of the incident, Mattis and Stoltenberg were arriving at the Presidential Palace to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani after visiting the NATO's Resolute Headquarters to inspect international troops deployed in the country.

This was Mattis' first trip to Kabul since US President Donald Trump announced on Aug. 21 an increase in the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan without any planned withdrawal date.

The conflict in Afghanistan _ which has lasted for almost 16 years and is the longest war in US history _ currently involves around 11,000 American troops.

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