Taliban militants attack Kandahar airport in Afghanistan

9 December 2015 (Last Updated December 9th, 2015 18:30)

Taliban militants have attacked a civilian and military air base in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, killing around 50 people.

Taliban militants have attacked a civilian and military air base in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, killing around 50 people.

The 26-hour battle started when attempts to restart stalled peace talks between the Islamist insurgency and the Afghanistan Government gained momentum, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

A group of suicide bombers dressed in military uniform and bearing rocket-propelled grenades, small arms and hand grenades entered into the airport on Tuesday afternoon.

"The battle came to an end after one militant who remained unsubdued for several hours was killed."

The battle came to an end after one militant who remained unsubdued for several hours was killed.

The militants also held hostages in a residential area, as well as seized a district in the southern province of Helmand, killing 14 Afghan security forces, reported The Associated Press.

AFP news agency quoted Kandahar airport director Ahmadullah Faizi as saying that during the attack some passengers were trapped inside the airport's civilian terminal.

Noting that there were no coalition casualties, US Army colonel Michael Lawhorn was cited by the BBC as saying that the Taliban fighters "never physically entered the airfield".

The unrest in Afghanistan increased since the US and Nato ended their combat mission last year.

Afghan commanders are carrying out a clean-up operation at the airport to ensure security. The airport compound houses Afghan military and civilian sections as well as a Nato base.