Multiple rockets hit US base in Afghanistan

Mohammad Ismail / Reuters

Five rockets were fired on Saturday at a major US facility in Afghanistan, but no one was hurt, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and provincial officials.

According to Wahida Shahkar, a spokeswoman for the governor of northern Parwan province, the rockets hit Bagram Airfield. She added that 12 rockets were placed in a vehicle, five of which were fired, while authorities were able to detonate the remaining seven.

Shahkar was unable to provide any additional information about any possible casualties or damage on the US base. She further stated that there had been no civilian casualties in the region.

A NATO official also reiterated that according to the preliminary reports, the airfield was not destroyed.

No one has claimed responsibility as of yet. Five rocket assaults on the base were claimed by the Islamic State group in April. There were no injuries in this incident.

The Islamic State has also claimed responsibility for a number of recent assaults in Kabul’s capital, including one against educational facilities that killed 50 people, the majority of whom were students.

According to Tariq Arian, spokesman for Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry, a civilian vehicle hit a roadside bomb in northern Balkh province on Saturday, killing four persons.

No one claimed credit for the blast in Balkh right away, but Arian claimed it was carried out by the Taliban.

Even as Taliban and Afghan government negotiators meet in Qatar to try to reach an agreement that would end the country’s decades-long war, violence has increased in Afghanistan. At the same time, the Taliban have continued their insurgency against government forces while fighting Islamic State terrorists, mainly in eastern Afghanistan.

US Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Taliban commanders in Doha earlier this week in an unannounced meeting to discuss military components of the US-Taliban deal signed in February.

The deal, which was signed in Qatar, where the Taliban have a political office, was meant to pave the way for direct talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

Milley travelled to Kabul after his negotiations with the Taliban to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. He said he stressed to both parties the importance of reducing violence across the country as soon as possible.

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