Missiles Strike Kabul Airport After US Defence Secretary’s Arrival: OfficialThe Air Force station at Hamid Karzai International Airport

Twenty missiles struck the air force station adjacent to Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport on Wednesday (27 September) after United States Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis flew to the Kabul for talks, an official said. Interior Ministry Spokesman Najib Danishsaid that there were no casualties or immediate claim of responsibility. Police have cordoned off the area to find the exact location from which the rockets were fired. There are no reports of causalities yet.

The airport has been evacuated and all flights have been cancelled for now. The rocket attack comes during the unannounced visit of the US Defence Secretary in Kabul.

Hamid Karzai International Airport is located five km from the city centre of Kabul. It serves as one of the country's largest military bases, used by the United States Armed Forces and NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

The military of Afghanistan also has a base there, while the Afghan National Police provide security inside the passenger terminals. No group has claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks yet.

Mattis is in Afghanistan to hold talks with the Afghan President and other Afghan government ministers. Later, he will hold a press conference with Ghani and the NATO chief.

Mattis' unannounced visit to Afghanistan, after his two-day trip in India, assumes significance as United States President Donald Trump said that he would rely on greater regional cooperation to stabilise the security situation in Afghanistan.

On that note, while assuring Mattis that India will continue its development and medical assistance in Afghanistan, Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman clearly stated, "There shall not be any Indian boots on the ground in Afghanistan".

With inputs from ANI and PTI

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