Mortar shells hit Afghan capital, airport; 1 dead

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An early morning barrage of mortar shells slammed into the Afghan capital on Saturday, killing at least one civilian and wounding a second, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

Three shells hit the compound of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, slightly damaging a Kam Air aircraft. Kam Air, which provides domestic and international flights, was Afghanistan’s first privately owned airline when it began in 2003.

A window of one of the aircraft parked at the airport was damaged by a ricocheting piece of a shell, according to an airport official who didn’t want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media. No one was hurt. The aircraft was empty.

The 10 shells were fired from a vehicle parked on the northern edge of the capital, Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said. Several rounds landed in residential areas of the city.

No one took immediate responsibility for the attack and the target wasn’t immediately clear. Afghanistan’s Islamic State affiliate has carried out similar attacks in the past, including last month when it claimed credit for firing over two dozens mortar rounds that killed eight civilians and wounded 31.

The IS affiliate, known as IS in Khorasan Province, has claimed responsibility for a series of devastating attacks in Kabul in recent months including on educational institutions that killed at least 50 people, most of them students.

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