Four attackers who launched hours-long rocket attack on the civilian and military airport in Kabul city on Wednesday reportedly rented the house two months ago, eyewitnesses and residents at the vicinity said on Thursday.
Suspicious individuals were coming to the house during nights, but they rarely visited the area during days, the residents said.
On Wednesday, militants affiliated to the Taliban group unleashed a barrage of rocket and mortars at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport International in a brazen attack that the insurgents said targeted the plane of visiting US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg.
In retaliation to the attack, the US military in Kabul also launched an airstrike that mistakenly hit a house, leaving at least six members of a family injured.
Later on, NATO issued a statement saying that it had responded with an airstrike that mistakenly hit a house.
“We rarely saw this neighbor in this vicinity, because they were not walking around most of the time,” said Ahmad Fawad, an eyewitness of the incident.
Other residents of the area said the attackers tried to shoot down an aircraft of foreign forces patrolling in the area, but they failed to do so.
“They (the suspects) tried to target the aircraft (patrolling in the area), but their bullet did not hit the aircraft and then they started fighting (against forces in the area),” said Mohammad Asghar, a resident of the area.
Following the attack, the Afghan security forces launched a search operation and arrested several suspects in connection with the incident.
“Our house is totally destroyed, we built it with lots of hardships,” said Nazeera, a resident.
The attack on the heavily-fortified airport comes at a time that the Afghan government is already under severe criticisms from the public over its failure to fix the security turbulent in the city.
“I pray that may the God curse this government. How long we have to tolerate this situation?” asked Halima , a resident of Kabul whose house was damaged in the attack.
Thursday’s attack is evaluated as one of the most complex attacks which security experts say needs to be addressed by the Afghan government as it would have harmful implications in the future.