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Thursday Apr 09 2020
By
Reuters

Daesh claim responsibility for US airbase attack in Afghanistan

By
Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Daesh have claimed responsibility for the five rockets which hit a major US air base in Afghanistan on Thursday.

The attack comes weeks after Taliban and the United States reached a deal on the withdrawal of US-led international troops in exchange for Taliban security guarantees. Daesh have not been included in the pact.

"Five rockets were fired at Bagram airfield early this morning," the NATO-led mission, Resolute Support, said on Twitter, referring to the main US air base in Afghanistan, north of Kabul.

"There were no casualties."

Daesh said in a statement on social media that their fighters had targeted a helicopter landing pad at Bagram.

Read also: Daesh claims deadly attack on rally in Kabul

A Taliban spokesman said on Twitter that his group was not behind the attack.

The Afghan affiliate of Daesh, known as ISIS-K, after an old name for the region, first appeared in eastern Afghanistan in 2014, and has since made inroads into other areas, particularly the north.

The US military estimates their strength at 2,000 fighters. Some Afghan officials estimated the number is higher.

Daesh militants, who battle foreign and Afghan government forces as well as the Taliban, have carried out some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan's urban centres in recent years.

The Taliban, as part of their agreement with the United States, have promised to open peace talks with the US-backed Afghan government but little progress has been made.

Read also: Daesh claims blast in marketplace in Iraqi capital, confusion on casualties

The Afghan government has begun the release of Taliban prisoners from a jail near the Bagram base, as step to build confidence for the Taliban talks.

A hundred Taliban members were freed on Thursday from detention at a jail near the base, following the release on Wednesday of 100 Taliban members.

The prisoner exchange deal provides for the government to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners, with the Taliban releasing 1,000 members of the Afghan security forces in exchange.