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HomePoliticsWorldRockets strike Kandahar airport; all flights cancelled

Rockets strike Kandahar airport; all flights cancelled

Three rockets hit Kandahar airport in Afghanistan just a few hours before the Taliban seized Kandahar and two other major cities Herat and Lashkar Gah

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At least three rockets struck Kandahar airport in southern Afghanistan overnight, an official said on 1 August, as the Taliban pressed on with their sweeping offensive across the country.

“Last night three rockets were fired at the airport and two of them hit the runway… Due to this all flights from the airport have been cancelled,” airport chief Massoud Pashtun said.

Pashtun said work to repair the runway was underway and expected the airport to be operational later on 1 August.

An official at the authority in Kabul confirmed the rockets attack.

The have for weeks launched withering assaults on the outskirts of Kandahar, stirring fears that the insurgents were on the verge of capturing the provincial capital.

Kandahar’s air base is vital to providing the logistics and air support needed to keep the militants from overrunning Afghanistan’s second-biggest city.

The attack on the airport came as the inched closer to overrunning two other provincial capitals Herat in the west and Lashkar Gah in the south.

The Taliban’s significant territorial gains during the final stages of the US military withdrawal have largely been in sparsely populated rural areas.

But in recent weeks they have brought increasing pressure on several provincial capitals and seized key border crossings.

The capture of any major urban centre would take their current offensive to another level and fuel concerns that the army is incapable of resisting the Taliban’s battlefield gains.

The government has repeatedly dismissed the Taliban’s steady territorial gains over the summer as lacking strategic value.

On 1 August, the fighting between Afghan National Forces and the escalated, with the Taliban seizing three major in southern and western Afghanistan as the continue to advance against the government forces. Taliban fighters now control parts of Herat, Lashkar Gah and Kandahar.

Since the withdrawal of the US troops, the have made rapid gains in rural areas of Afghanistan. However, lately, the Taliban, backed by Pakistan Army, is taking over important districts and urban centres, creating a ground for further escalations in a country that is already ravaged by decades of war.

The onslaught of the has fuelled fears of the worst humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

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Investors have recalibrated their expectations for Fed rate hikes in response to the new Omicron variant. Federal-funds futures, a proxy for market expectations of interest-rate changes, now suggest a 62% chance of a rate hike by June 2022, down from 82% on Wednesday.

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