Print this page

    Taliban rockets target Afghan president's palace

22:31 20 July 2021 Author :  

At least three rockets hit near the presidential palace on Tuesday shortly before Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was to give an address to mark the major Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

There were no injuries and the rockets landed outside the heavily fortified palace grounds, said Mirwais Stanikzai, spokesman for the interior minister.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, but police quickly fanned out across the area. One car parked on a nearby street was completely destroyed; the police said it was used as launching pad for the rockets.

The palace is in the middle of a so-called Green Zone that is fortified with giant cement blast walls and barbed wire, and streets near the palace have long been closed off.

The barrage came as the US and Nato complete their final withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Many Afghans are worried whether their war-ravaged country will fall deeper into chaos and violence as foreign forces withdraw and the Taliban gain more territory on the ground, having captured several districts and key border crossings with neighbouring countries over the past weeks.

The withdrawal is more than 95 per cent complete and the final US soldier will be gone by August 31, President Joe Biden said in an address earlier this month.

Amid the flaring violence and Taliban offensive, Afghan Army Chief Gen Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai is expected to pay a three-day crucial visit to India from July 27 to explore boosting bilateral military ties, people familiar with the development said on Tuesday.

Gen Ahmadzai is scheduled to hold wide-ranging talks with the top Indian military brass including his counterpart Gen MM Naravane and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, they said.

President Ghani has stressed that “the Taliban have no intention and willingness for peace... We have proven that we have the intention, the willingness and have sacrificed for peace.”

Afghan forces have been complaining about being left without reinforcements and supplies, often running low on food as the Taliban advanced.

Turkey will talk to Taliban on Kabul airport

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, said on Tuesday his country will talk with the Taliban regarding Turkey’s bid to operate and secure the airport in the Afghan capital, Kabul. “This process will also be discussed with the Taliban,” he said, acknowledging that the hardline Islamist group had some “discomforts” over Turkey’s proposed plans for the airport.

Join probe: Pak to daughter of Afghan envoy

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid on Tuesday reiterated the police’s claim that Silsila Alikhil, the daughter of Afghanistan’s ambassador, was not kidnapped even as he urged her to come forward and join the probe. Alikhil was allegedly abducted, tortured and assaulted on Friday by unknown persons in Islamabad.

Read 1588

Related News: