Rockets were fired at Kabul’s airport on Monday where US troops were racing to complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan and evacuate allies under the threat of Islamic State group attacks.
President Joe Biden has set a deadline of Tuesday to withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan, drawing to a close his nation’s longest military conflict, which began in retaliation for the September 11 attacks.
The return of the hardline Islamist Taliban movement, which was toppled in 2001 but took back power a fortnight ago, triggered an exodus of terrified people aboard US-led evacuation flights.
Those flights, which have taken more than 120,000 people out of Kabul airport, will officially end on Tuesday when the last of the thousands of American troops pull out.
But US forces are now focused chiefly on flying themselves and American diplomats out safely.
The Islamic State group, rivals of the Taliban, pose the biggest threat to the withdrawal after carrying out a suicide bomb attack at the perimeter of the airport late last week that claimed more than 100 lives, including those of 13 US troops.
Biden had warned more attacks were highly likely and the United States said it carried out an air strike on Sunday night in Kabul on an IS-prepared car bomb.
That was followed on Monday morning by rockets being fired at the airport.