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Kabul rocket attack ends as assailants killed

Kabul rocket attack ends as assailants killed

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On
Aug 21, 2018 - 12:48

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Three Talibaninfo-icon militants who fired several rockets into Kabul city were killed by Afghan security forces near the sprawling Eid Gah mosqueinfo-icon where hundreds had gathered to offer Eidul Adha prayers, the Ministry of Interior said on Tuesday.

MoI spokesman Najibullah Danish told reporters that there were three attackers firing rockets and mortars from an inn called Mahi towards different areas of Kabul including the Presidential Palace where President Ghani was delivering his Eid holiday speech.

Danish said the attackers fired rockets into the first, second, ninth, tenth and 16th police districts of Kabul, but there were no casualties and only two security forces sustained slight injuries.

He said the attackers were eliminated in a clearing operation by join security forces around 12pm.

He said two suspected cars caught fire after being hit by security forces in the operation. Fighters reached the scene and doused the fire, he added.

He said a search operation was still ongoing in the area and local residents had been moved to safety.

Danish said it was being investigated how the attackers were able to enter the inn and the result of the investigation would be shared with the media.

A Pajhwok reporter at the scene said the attack and ensuing operation lasted three hours. A large number of security forces backed by air support arrived at the scene and engaged the attackers.

Pair of rockets were fired toward the Presidential Palace as President Ashraf Ghani was delivering his Eidul Adha holiday message.

The first rocket landed somewhere near the presidency, the second near a NATOinfo-icon compound and the US Embassy in Kabul, police said.

The boom of the rockets was heard in the live broadcast of President Ghani's speech.

As he also heard the thud, Ghani interrupted his message to say: "If they are thinking the rocket attack will keep Afghans down, they are wrong."

There was no immediate statement from the Taliban for the attack, another blow to Ghani's efforts to bring the insurgents to the negotiation table.

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