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At Least 50 People Were Killed in the Taliban's Attack on Kandahar Airport

The last of 11 Taliban militants who infiltrated the airport was killed late on Wednesday, more than 24 hours after the attack began. Scores of civilians died in the fighting.
December 10, 2015, 11:24am
Kandahar airport after the siege. Photo by Muhammad Sadiq/EPA

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The last of 11 Taliban insurgents who attacked Kandahar airport was killed late on Wednesday, more than 24 hours after the siege began, Afghanistan's Defense Ministry said.

The government said a total of 38 civilians, 10 soldiers, and two police officers were killed when a group of militants began firing on the airport, one of the most heavily protected bases in the country. However hospital staff told Al Jazeera that 70 people were killed, including women and children.


Another 37 security forces and civilians were wounded.

The ministry said operations against the attackers, who took up position in a part of the complex used for accommodation, had proceeded slowly to limit the number of civilian casualties.

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The Taliban said "martyrdom seekers" entered the base undetected to start "thunderous attacks on foreign and hireling personnel."

No casualties were reported among the thousands of international military and contractors based at the airport.

The attack underlined the Taliban's ability to inflict serious damage on security forces that are still shaken by the insurgents' brief capture of the northern city of Kunduz in September.

This week's incident coincided with a regional peace conference in Pakistan where Afghan President Ashraf Ghani asked Pakistan to help restart peace talks with the Taliban that were broken off earlier this year.

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