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4 Rockets Hit Afghanistan Airport

July 11, 1998

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) _ Opposition soldiers pounded Kabul’s airport with four rockets today, just one day after the United Nations announced it was suspending flights into the battered capital.

The rocketing has been a near daily occurrence at the airport for the last two weeks, and the opposition fighters, led by ousted military chief Ahmed Shah Massood, have vowed to continue the assaults to prevent Taliban jet fighters from using the runway. There were no reports of casualties from today’s attack.

The United Nations stopped all its flights into Kabul after rockets twice landed at the airport while its aircraft were parked on the tarmac

Several of the rockets in recent days have gone astray and landed in a nearby residential area, killing at least three people and wounding several others, most of them from flying shrapnel.

The Taliban army controls about 85 percent of the country, including the capital of Kabul, while Massood, who was driven from Kabul by the Taliban in 1996, rules in the remaining 15 percent.

Most of the area held by the opposition, a collection of small groups largely representing minority ethnic groups, is in northern Afghanistan.

In Taliban-run areas, the band of former seminarians has imposed a harsh form of Islamic law. Women have been forbidden from working, girls have been banned from attending school and men have been required to pray in the mosque and are publicly beaten for shaving their beards.

The opposition is trying to stop the Taliban army from consolidating its hold on the entire country.

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