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US military says defense system used to intercept rockets in Kabul attack

Rocket launcher tubes are seen inside a destroyed vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi)
Rocket launcher tubes are seen inside a destroyed vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi)

WASHINGTON — The US military says five rockets targeted the Kabul airport this morning and US forces on the airfield used a defensive system to intercept them.

Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for the US military’s Central Command, says there were no US casualties. He says US forces used a defensive weapon known by the acronym C-RAM — a Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar System — in response to the attack.

It targeted the rockets in a whirling hail of ammunition, Urban says. The system has a distinct, drill-like sound that echoed through the city at the time of the attack.

He says the Kabul airfield remains operational as the evacuation continues today. Other details are not immediately available.

Meanwhile, Ross Wilson, the chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy in Kabul now working out of the airport, insists that evacuations remain ongoing. He dismisses as false claims that American citizens have been turned away or were denied access to the Kabul airport by US Embassy staff or American troops.

“This is a high-risk operation. Claims that American citizens have been turned away or denied access to HKIA by Embassy staff or US Forces are false,” he says in a message on Twitter, using eh acronym for the Kabul airport. He doesn’t elaborate.

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