Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
April 7, 2021
A Taliban spokesman says insurgents targeted an airbase in southern Afghanistan where international troops are based.
If confirmed, it would be the first attack against foreign forces that the Taliban has claimed responsibility for since the United States signed a deal with the Taliban in February 2020.
Kandahar Airfield, where international troops in NATO’s Resolute Support mission are based, was “targeted with multiple missiles” on April 7, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah wrote in a tweet.
“Missiles have hit targets, causing heavy human & material losses,” he added.
Neither the U.S. military nor NATO has commented on the claim.
According to the U.S.-Taliban agreement, reached under the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, the militant group agreed to end attacks against international troops.
All foreign forces are also to leave Afghanistan by May 1 in exchange for security guarantees from the militant group such as severing ties with Al-Qaeda and refusing to harbor any foreign terrorists.
But Trump’s successor, President Joe Biden, has warned the withdrawal deadline will be difficult to meet, raising the prospect the entire agreement with the Taliban will unravel.
Afghanistan has seen a nationwide spike in bombings, targeted killings, and violence on the battlefield as common ground evades peace negotiators in Qatar.
Later this month, Taliban and Afghan government representatives are expected to gather for a U.S.-backed international conference in Turkey meant to give new impetus to intra-Afghan peace talks.