More than 30 civilians killed in attack at Afghanistan’s Kandahar airport

Civilians wait as Afghan security forces guard at the main gate of Kandahar civilian airport during a clash between Taliban fighters and Afghan forces, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. An Afghan official says the Taliban have launched an attack at the airport in the southern city of Kandahar, where clashes are still underway. (AP Photos/Allauddin Khan)

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) – Thirty-seven civilians were killed in an attack Tuesday night at a market bazaar and a school near Kandahar airport, Afghan officials said.

Another 35 people were wounded, the Afghan Defense Ministry said. Fighting continued Wednesday into the early evening after Afghan National Army forces surrounded the attackers.

Nine “armed terrorists” were also killed, the ministry said. One is injured, and “another one is still fighting,” it said

The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, saying the gunmen carried machine guns and were targeting foreign forces, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.

Kandahar, the second-largest city in Afghanistan, is about 480 kilometers (300 miles) southwest of the capital of Kabul.

Taliban gunmen opened fire at a bazaar near the Kandahar airport at 6:20 p.m. local time (8:50 a.m. ET) Tuesday, said Samim Ekhpelwak, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province. Afghan forces returned fire.

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