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Gunmen in rocket attack on airport

Afghan forces say they have surrounded gunmen who used rockets to attack Kabul International Airport.

The gunmen occupied two buildings which were under construction 700 yards north of the airport and were using them as a base to fire rockets and gunfire toward the airport and ISAF jet fighters flying over the capital, said Afzal Aman, a general in the Afghan army.

The pre-dawn attack comes during a tense time in Afghanistan as a recount is under way from the second round of a disputed presidential election.

Gen Aman said several rockets hit the airport but no planes had been damaged so far. He said two attackers were killed by Afghan forces.

Besides civilian traffic, the airport is used as a base for Nato-led forces that have been fighting for more than a decade against Taliban and others. Rocket attacks near the airport are not rare, but are not usually this close.

Gen Aman said the fighting was going on and the gunmen had been surrounded by Afghan forces. Alarms had also sounded at the US embassy in Kabul, as they usually do when there is an attack in the city. ISAF jet fighters were also patrolling over the city.

The attack also comes two days after a suicide bomber blew up a car packed with explosives near a busy market and a mosque in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 89 people in the deadliest insurgent attack on civilians since the 2001 US-led invasion.

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