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Rockets land near Kabul presidential palace during Eid Al Adha prayers

Reuters/Kabul
Filed on July 20, 2021 | Last updated on July 20, 2021 at 11.19 pm

(Reuters file)

Taleban denied that they were involved in the attack.


Rockets hit the Afghan capital on Tuesday, landing near the presidential palace during prayers for Eid Al Adha, officials and media said, but it was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.

Three rockets landed outside the palace, said interior ministry spokesperson Mirwais Stanekzai, adding that there were no immediate reports of injuries.

The attack interrupted an outdoor gathering for prayers in the palace compound attended by President Ashraf Ghani, television images showed.

Taleban denied they were involved in the attack on the heavily fortified palace. Spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters in a voice message the fighters were in a "state of defence" during the Eid holiday. Unlike some previous years, the Taleban have not officially declared a ceasefire for Eid this week.

Mujahid did not immediately reply when asked if the Taleban's defensive stance constituted a ceasefire.

The prayers continued amid the sound of explosions, however, and Ghani later delivered a speech from an outdoor podium, broadcast on local media.

Insecurity has been growing in Afghanistan, largely spurred by fighting in its provinces as foreign troops withdraw and Taleban insurgents launch major offensives, taking districts and border crossings.

On Monday, 15 diplomatic missions and the NATO representative in Kabul urged the Taleban to halt offensives, just hours after the insurgents and the Afghan government failed to agree on a ceasefire at talks in Doha.





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