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Taliban assault on Kabul airport ends with seven militants dead

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Ahmad Jamshid/AP

(Read caption) Afghan security stands guard and an intelligence official inspects wreckage at the site of a suicide attack near the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 10, 2013. Seven heavily armed Taliban insurgents launched a pre-dawn attack near Afghanistan's main airport Monday, apparently targeting NATO's airport headquarters with rocket-propelled grenades, assault rifles and at least one large bomb.

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Rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire shook Kabul this morning in a predawn militant attack on Afghanistan’s international airport, which houses a NATO headquarters. Afghan forces responded to the assault quickly, putting an end to the attack four hours after it began.

The Taliban claimed responsibility via texts and e-mails during the attack, which began just after 4 a.m. All seven militants involved died – five were killed by Afghan forces and two detonated suicide bomb vests – and there were no civilian or security force casualties, reports The Wall Street Journal.

“It started just after dawn prayers and I counted about a dozen explosions, mostly RPG fire, coming from (near) the airport,” a resident who lives near the airport told The Associated Press. Two buildings that were under construction and located near the airport were used by the Taliban during the attack.

Mohammad Yaqub Rasuli, the head of Kabul’s international airport, said that civilian flights were halted during the attack, but runways reopened soon after. According to the Los Angeles Times, the non-civilian side of the Kabul airport has a military wing, which hosts the Afghan Air Force, and NATO’s Joint Command headquarters.

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