The US anti-missile defences intercepted as many as five rockets that were fired at Kabul’s airport early on Monday morning, a U.S. official said, as the United States rushed to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan to end its longest war, reported Reuters. 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.
Having evacuated about 114,400 people – including foreign nationals and “at risk” Afghans – in an operation that began a day before Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15, the US and its allied forces are set to complete their own withdrawal from Afghanistan by Tuesday, August 31, to meet a deadline agreed with the Islamist militants. 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.
Some reports said that the number of U.S. troops at the Kabul airport had fallen to below 4,000 over the weekend, with people departing urgently after the suicide bomb attack on Kabul airport that killed scores of Afghan civilians along with 13 US troops.
Meanwhile, backtracking from its assurances to respect women’s rights in Afghanistan, the Taliban, which is set to form a new government in the war-ravaged country has announced a ban on coeducation, reported ANI. This comes a day after Shaikh Abdulbaqi Haqqani was appointed as the acting minister of higher education in Afghanistan.
According to a Khaama Press report, Taliban officials in Afghanistan’s western Herat province had last week ordered that girls will no longer be allowed to sit in the same classes as boys in universities. Taliban officials had said that there is no alternative justification for continuing co-education and the practice must be halted. The newly appointed education minister has said that education activities will take place according to Sharia Law.
(With inputs from News Agencies)