The C-RAM defense system installed at the airport engaged with the rockets, the official said. There are no reports of any casualties at this time.
C-RAM is an automated system that detects incoming attacks and uses a machine gun to destroy the incoming fire before it can hit its target. The system has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan to intercept and destroy incoming projectiles targeting US forces.
The US official said the rockets aimed at the airport were likely launched by ISIS-K, but cautioned it was too early to know for sure.
A civilian vehicle was apparently used as an improvised platform in the rocket attack. Video obtained by CNN showed the vehicle in flames on a street in Kabul’s Khair Khana neighborhood after the rockets were fired.
The incinerated remnants of the car are covered with debris, the glass missing from all windows and rubber melted from the tires. The car appears to have been modified, with six large tubes visible inside the charred skeleton.
Zia ud Din, a potato-chip seller whose house was next to where the car was parked, heard the bang of the rockets launching.
“There were a few big bangs, we all were inside the house — the whole family — when we heard the loud bangs, we ran into the garden, everything caught fire,” he said. “Fortunately, no one is killed or injured.”
Taliban fighters had initially cordoned off the street, telling bystanders the situation remained dangerous, though they later allowed journalists on the street.
Eyewitnesses said one of the rockets hit a nearby building. A rocket impact was visible on a nearby high-rise tower, though Taliban fighters and eyewitnesses said there were no casualties in the building.
ISIS in Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, has claimed that an ISIS militant carried out the suicide attack, but provided no evidence to support the claim.
The attack took place among huge crowds gathered outside the airport, with Afghans desperately seeking a way out of Kabul. Efforts to evacuate people have wound down in recent days, as the US’s August 31 deadline approaches.
Approximately 1,200 people were evacuated from the capital in the last 24 hours, almost entirely on US military flights, according to the White House on Monday. That figure is down from a high point last week when 21,000 people were evacuated in a 24-hour period.
It brings the total to approximately 116,700 people evacuated from Afghanistan since August 14, and 122,300 people since late July.
On Saturday, US President Joe Biden warned that another terrorist attack on the airport was “highly likely in the next 24-36 hours,” citing US military commanders.
The next day US forces launched a drone strike targeting suspected ISIS-K militants, the second such strike in three days. Though the US initially said there were no indications of civilian casualties, the military acknowledged reports of casualties later on Sunday.
Nine members of one family — including six children, the youngest only 2 years old — were killed in a drone…