Recently, there’ve been reports that these tensions led to a gunfight in which Mansoor was injured and possibly killed.
Afghan National Army soldiers keep watch after clashes against security forces at Kandahar Airport on December 9, 2015.
Passengers from at least one commercial flight were caught up in the attacks Tuesday and were stuck in the passenger terminal until the fighting ceased.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, which put the death toll at 54, said the insurgents opened fire in the bazaar, killing and injuring several civilian shopkeepers and their customers.
Kandahar Air Field, a former hub for tens of thousands of foreign troops and contractors, is located in southern Afghanistan’s largest city and the Taliban’s spiritual heartland.
The Taliban said in a statement 150 soldiers had been killed, but the movement has often made exaggerated casualty claims in the past.
They briefly captured the strategic northern city of Kunduz in September in their most spectacular victory in 14 years.
Sherzai said the insurgents seized a number of family members of the Afghan troops who live in a residential area near the sprawling airport.
“The prime minister paid rich tributes to the Afghan government for its efforts of eliminating terrorism… terrorism is the common enemy of both Afghanistan and Pakistan”, Sharif’s office quoted him as saying.
The resignation of Rahmatullah Nabil comes as Afghanistan grapples with a string of major Taliban attacks, including a 27-hour siege of Kandahar airport this week, which killed at least 50 people.
“This is the most serious attack, we’ve witnessed against the (Kandahar) complex”, which also houses a joint Nato-Afghan base, the official said.
It said the 11 “terrorists” who took part in the assault were killed, and that the fighting ended late Wednesday. The officer said roughly 20 people had been injured.
A spokesman for the provincial governor told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday that the militants had attacked the civilian wing of the airfield, but had not been able to breach the airport perimeters. About 2,000 coalition troops are at the base, along with 5,000 coalition civilian contractors. Attackers also targeted a police station in the city.
U.S. Army Col. Michael Lawhorn said the Taliban “never physically entered the airfield” in Kandahar, but fired toward the air base from positions inside a local school nearby. With so many important bases, the Kandahar Airport was considered the most secure site in southern Afghanistan.
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