Published: Sat, November 21, 2020

At least eight civilians killed as several rockets hit Afghan capital

At least eight civilians killed as several rockets hit Afghan capital

The number of deaths in a rocket attack that pounded the Afghan capital early Saturday rose to eight, officials confirmed, marking the latest assault in an ongoing wave of violence sweeping Kabul.

The salvo slammed into various parts of central and north Kabul - including in and around the heavily fortified Green Zone that houses embassies and worldwide firms - just before 9:00 am (0430 GMT).

One of the rockets landed in the vicinity of the Iranian embassy and several fragments hit the main building but there were no casualties among the staff, the embassy said in a statement. No one in the compound, located just outside the Green Zone, was wounded.

Arian said "terrorists" mounted 14 rockets in a small truck and set them off, adding that an investigation is going on to find out how the vehicle came inside the city. "The rockets hit separate locations in PD 10, PD 4, and PD 2", Tariq Arian, a spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, told Xinhua.

"It's not like things will go as we wish", Abdullah said, adding however, that he welcomed the fact 2,500 troops will remain and that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will also retain its presence. "These attackers must die, they don't even spare hospitals".

The Taliban denied being behind it.

The visit comes at a crucial time for Afghanistan as Kabul government negotiators and the Taliban are holding USA -brokered negotiations in Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office, to chart a course for a post-war Afghanistan.

Pakistan PM in 'historic' first visit to Afghanistan

Washington signed a deal with the Taliban in February to pave the way for the Doha talks and American forces' eventual withdrawal. Except a few, majority of religious clerics, seminaries and its million of students are proud on their love for Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, especially with Haqqani networks, claiming responsibility for nearly violent acts taking place throughout Afghanistan.

Pompeo will meet teams of both the sides separately in the Qatari capital Doha.

Trump has repeatedly vowed to end "forever wars", including in Afghanistan, America's longest-ever conflict that began with an invasion to dislodge the Taliban, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, and has led to many war crimes and civilian deaths committed by United States forces across the years.

Biden, in a rare point of agreement, also advocates winding down the Afghanistan war although analysts believe he will not be as wedded to a quick timetable.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that his visit to Kabul a day earlier was aimed at signalling Islamabad's commitment to peace in Afghanistan and noted that Pakistan's erstwhile tribal areas would benefit from reduction in violence in the war-ravaged neighbuoring country.

Terrorist attacks continue to target innocents and institutions of learning, he said adding that COVID-19 has hit Afghanistan in the midst of a hard political transition and an intensifying conflict.


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