Updated Aug 30, 2021 - World

Rockets fired at Kabul airport

Taliban fighters secure the outer perimeter, in plain sight of the American forces that control the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan
Taliban fighters secure the outer perimeter of Hamid Karzai International Airport in front of American forces in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Multiple rockets were fired toward Kabul's international airport on Monday — less than 48 hours before the U.S. was due to complete its full military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The latest: There were no reports of casualties and it wasn't immediately clear who fired the rockets, though the Islamic State has claimed responsibility, according to Reuters.

  • Reuters and the New York Times reported that U.S. forces shot them down with a "counter-rocket system."
  • Gunfire rang out from an unknown source straight after the rockets landed in the Salim Karwan neighborhood near the airport, per AP.

What they're saying: White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that President Biden had been briefed on "the rocket attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport" (HKIA).

  • "The President was informed that operations continue uninterrupted at HKIA, and has reconfirmed his order that commanders redouble their efforts to prioritize doing whatever is necessary to protect our forces on the ground," Psaki added.

The big picture: The rocket attack came a day after the U.S. launched a drone strike targeting a vehicle that American officials said presented an "imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport.

  • U.S. Central Command spokesperson Capt. Bill Urban said officials "know" that the strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport. He also said the Pentagon is "aware of reports of civilian casualties following our strike" and that officials were investigating this further.
  • An Afghan family told the Washington Post that the drone strike killed 10 civilians, including several small children.
  • U.S. military planes continued with evacuations from the airport following Monday's rocket attack, AP notes.
  • The Biden administration did not immediately respond to Axios' request for further comment on the rocket attack.

Go deeper: U.S. announces joint arrangement to continue evacuating Afghan allies past Aug. 31

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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