Rocket assault on Afghan capital as president provides Eid speech

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KABUL: A minimum of three rockets landed within the Afghan capital Tuesday, July 20, 2021, forward of a speech by President Ashraf Ghani marking the beginning of the Muslim vacation of Eid al-Adha.

Though there was no fast declare of accountability, it was the primary rocket assault on Kabul for the reason that Taliban launched a collection of offensives to coincide with the ultimate drawdown of international troops from the war-wracked nation.

The early morning vacation calm was shattered by the sound of incoming rockets heard throughout the closely fortified Inexperienced Zone that homes the presidential palace and several other embassies, together with the US mission.

“All of the rockets hit three totally different components,” stated inside ministry spokesman Mirwais Stanikzai.

He stated three rockets appeared to have been fired from a pickup truck.

“Based mostly on our preliminary data, we now have no casualties.”

Minutes after the assault, Ghani started an deal with to the nation within the presence of a few of his high officers.

ALSO READ: Worldwide neighborhood requires ‘pressing finish’ to Taliban offensive

The presidential palace was attacked final yr as lots of of individuals gathered to observe President Ashraf Ghani’s inauguration ceremony, prompting some to flee.

The jihadist Islamic State group (IS) claimed accountability for the 2 blasts, with no stories of casualties.

Tuesday’s assault coincides with a sweeping Taliban offensive throughout the nation as international forces wind up a troop withdrawal scheduled to be full by August 31.

It additionally comes a day after greater than a dozen diplomatic missions in Kabul referred to as for “an pressing finish” to the insurgents’ ruthless navy offensive, saying it was at odds with claims they need to safe a political deal to finish the battle.

The assertion follows one other spherical of inconclusive talks in Doha over the weekend between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban that many hoped would kickstart the ailing peace course of.

Little progress 

“The Taliban’s offensive is in direct contradiction to their declare to help a negotiated settlement,” the assertion learn.

“It has resulted in lack of harmless Afghan lives, together with by means of continued focused killings, displacement of the civilian inhabitants, looting and burning of buildings, destruction of important infrastructure, and harm to communication networks.”

For months, the 2 sides have been assembly on and off within the Qatari capital however have achieved little, with talks showing to have misplaced momentum because the militants make battlefield good points.

A joint assertion late Sunday stated that they had agreed on the necessity to attain a “simply resolution”, and to fulfill once more subsequent week.

ALSO READ: Taliban supremo ‘favours political settlement’ to Afghan battle

“We additionally agreed that there must be no pause within the negotiations,” Abdullah Abdullah, who oversees the Afghan authorities’s delegation, informed AFP on Monday.

He famous, nevertheless, that neither aspect was presently pursuing a joint ceasefire in the course of the talks, regardless of pressing calls from Afghan civil society and the worldwide neighborhood to finish the combating.

The Taliban and authorities have beforehand introduced ceasefires throughout some spiritual holidays.

Following the weekend summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan introduced that his administration hoped to begin talks with the Taliban over the group’s refusal to let Ankara run the Kabul airport after US troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

Turkey has been negotiating with US defence officers over a proposal to safe the airport, which is essential to permitting nations to retain a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan after the troop withdrawal.

Final week, the Taliban referred to as Turkey’s supply “reprehensible”.

Preventing, in the meantime, continued in Afghanistan, with each the Taliban and authorities claiming good points in varied components of the nation. 

Over the weekend, the Taliban’s supreme chief Hibatullah Akhundzada stated he “strenuously favours” a political settlement — even because the hardline Islamist motion continues its offensives.

The Taliban has been capturing districts, seizing border crossings and encircling provincial capitals as international forces put together to totally exit by late August.

In Washington, the State Division stated that some 700 interpreters and their fast members of the family who’re fleeing Afghanistan shall be relocated to a military base within the state of Virginia.

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