At least three people were killed in a series of loud explosions that rocked central Kabul, including several rockets that landed near the heavily fortified Green Zone where many embassies and international companies are located, authorities said.
Saturday’s explosions occurred in densely populated parts of the Afghan capital, marking the latest attack in an ongoing wave of violence hitting Kabul.
“This morning, the terrorists fired 14 rockets at the city of Kabul,” Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said.
“Unfortunately, the rockets hit residential areas. So far, three of our compatriots have been martyred and another 11 have been injured.
Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz confirmed the same death toll and details, saying “multiple rockets” had been fired, while photos on social media appeared to show damage to an external wall in a large medical complex. .
The Interior Ministry said two small “sticky bomb” explosions had been reported on Saturday morning, including one that struck a police vehicle, killed a police officer and injured three others.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blasts, which came amid an ongoing wave of violence that has sparked carnage across Afghanistan in recent months.
The Taliban have vowed not to attack urban areas under the terms of a US withdrawal agreement, but the Kabul administration has blamed insurgents or their proxies for other recent attacks in Kabul.
Taliban and Afghan government negotiators started peace talks in Doha in September, but progress has been slow.
However, officials told AFP on Friday that a breakthrough was expected to be announced in the coming days, with the US State Department announcing late Friday that the US Secretary of State was expected to be back. Mike Pompeo will meet separately with negotiators from the Taliban and the Afghan government. in Doha on Saturday.
Pompeo will also meet with the ruler of Qatar, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and the foreign minister on his stopover in Qatar, the base of Taliban diplomacy, the State Department said in its public program. .
Earlier this week, the Pentagon said it would soon withdraw some 2,000 troops from Afghanistan, speeding up the schedule set in a February agreement between Washington and the Taliban that calls for a full US withdrawal by mid-2021.
Trump has repeatedly promised to end “wars for good,” including in Afghanistan, the longest conflict in US history that began with an invasion to dislodge the Taliban after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
President-elect Joe Biden, at a rare point of agreement, has also advocated ending the war in Afghanistan, although analysts believe he will not be as committed to a fast schedule.
In the past six months, the Taliban carried out 53 suicide attacks and 1,250 explosions that left 1,210 civilians dead and 2,500 injured, Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said this week.
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