Afghan capital suffered a massive attack as a series of 23 rockets hit in the capital. A rocket barrage slammed into the heavily fortified Green Zone where many embassies and international firms are based in the Afghan capital, Kabul killing at least 8 civilians and wounding dozens more on Saturday.
Tariq Arian, spokesman for the interior ministry said, “Terrorists” mounted the rockets on a small truck and set them off, adding an investigation was underway to find out how the vehicle came inside the city undetected. Noting the final toll would change Arian said, “Based on initial information eight people were martyred and 31 others were wounded.”
Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz confirmed the same tolls and details. The ISIL (ISIS) affiliate in Afghanistan claimed the rocket barrage, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. The armed group has carried out similar attacks in the past and claimed responsibility for other assaults in Kabul.
Some residents filmed the projectiles being launched and posted them on social media. Several images circulating on Facebook showed damaged cars and a hole in the side of a building. Taliban fighters, battling against a foreign-backed Kabul administration, denied involvement in the attack saying they “do not blindly fire on public places.”
Using the group’s name for Afghanistan Taliban; spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said, “The rocket attack in Kabul city has nothing to do with the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate.”
The barrage sent warning sirens blaring from embassy compounds; and came two days before a major donor conference for Afghanistan in Geneva, Switzerland. The interior ministry also said two small “sticky bomb” explosions; had been reported earlier on Saturday, including one that hit a police car, killing one policeman; and wounding three others.
Since peace talks between the Afghan government; and the Taliban stalled, attacks by it and other armed groups have been on the rise, especially in; the capital that is home to more than five million Afghans.
Officials told the AFP news agency on Friday a breakthrough in negotiating; was expected to be announced in the coming days. The US State Department announced late on Friday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; would meet negotiators from the Taliban and the Afghan government in Qatar on Saturday.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to end “forever wars” including in Afghanistan the United States’ longest-ever conflict that began with an invasion to dislodge the Taliban following the 11th September 2001 attacks.