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ISIS-K terror group launches rocket attack on Kabul airport as US troops in final phase of withdrawal

ISIS-K terror group launches rocket attack on Kabul airport as US troops in final phase of withdrawal

US troops at the Kabul airport came under a rocket attack from the ISIS-K terror group on Monday morning but American anti-missile defences intercepted as many as five rockets to avert any damage.

Afghan media reports said Monday's rocket attack was mounted from the back of a vehicle. According to Pajhwok news agency several rockets struck different parts of the Afghan capital.

Initial reports did not indicate any U.S. casualties from the latest rocket attack, the U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

A White House statement said U.S. President Joe Biden reconfirmed his order that commanders do "whatever is necessary to protect our forces on the ground", after being briefed on the attack, and he was informed that operations continued uninterrupted at the airport.

Also read:  US investigating reports on 9 civilians killed in drone strike on ISIS-K car in Kabul

An AFP photographer on Monday took pictures of a destroyed car, with a rocket launcher system still visible in the back seat.

A US drone strike was believed to have hit the car, about two kilometres from the airport.

A Taliban official at the scene also said he believed five rockets had been fired, and all were destroyed by the airport's missile defence systems.

While there were no reports of casualties or airport damage from the rocket attacks, locals were in a state of shock, the AFP report said.

Having evacuated about 114,400 people – including foreign nationals and at risk-Afghans since Aug. 15 when the Taliban took over Kabul in a lightning advance, U.S. troops are set to withdraw by Tuesday to meet the Aug 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden.

The number of U.S. troops at the airport had fallen to below 4,000 at the weekend from 5,800 earlier, with efforts to evacuate more people slowing down after an Islamic State suicide bomb attack outside the gates on Thursday killed over 90 Afghan civilians and 13 U.S. military personnel.

The US has hit back with two drone attacks, killing two ISIS-K planners in eastern Afghanistan and destroying an explosives laden car in Kabul that was to be used as bomb in a second planned attack on the airport.