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Kabul blasts: At least eight killed, 31 injured in collection of rocket explosions in Afghan capital forward of Pompeo’s go to – World News , Firstpost

The explosions hit varied components of central and north Kabul, together with in and across the closely fortified Green Zone that homes embassies and worldwide corporations

Representational picture. AP

Kabul: At least eight individuals have been killed and 31 injured on Saturday when a barrage of rockets slammed into completely different components of Kabul, marking the newest assault in a wave of violence sweeping the Afghan capital.

The explosions hit varied components of central and north Kabul, together with in and across the closely fortified Green Zone that homes embassies and worldwide corporations — simply earlier than 9.00 am (04.30 GMT).

The Iranian embassy mentioned on Twitter that its primary constructing had been hit by rocket fragments after a missile landed on the premises. No one on the compound, situated simply exterior the Green Zone, was wounded.

Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian blamed the Taliban, saying “terrorists” had fired a complete of 23 rockets.

“Based on initial information, eight people were martyred, and 31 others were wounded,” Arian mentioned, noting the ultimate toll would change.

Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz confirmed the small print.

The shells have been fired from two automobiles, Arian mentioned. The assault additionally focused the luxurious Wazir Akbar Khan space of the capital, which homes diplomatic missions.

The Taliban denied accountability, saying they “do not blindly fire on public places”.

At least one rocket landed in an workplace contained in the Green Zone, however didn’t explode.

Photos and movies circulating on-line confirmed a number of buildings with broken partitions and home windows, together with at a big medical advanced.

Recent huge assaults in Kabul, together with two horrific assaults on academic establishments that killed almost 50 individuals in latest weeks, comply with a well-recognized sample within the aftermath, with the Taliban denying any involvement whereas the Afghan authorities pins the blame on them or their proxies.

“The rocket attack in Kabul city has nothing to do with the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid mentioned, utilizing the insurgents’ identify for Afghanistan.

The Taliban are beneath stress to not assault city areas, having pledged not to take action beneath the phrases of a US withdrawal deal signed in February.

Any acknowledgement of overt involvement in such incidents might in concept gradual the American pull-out, although outgoing US President Donald Trump has made clear he needs US forces out whatever the scenario on the bottom.

The Islamic State group claimed the 2 assaults on academic centres, however Kabul mentioned the Taliban’s ultra-violent Haqqani community was accountable.

Pompeo heads to Doha

Taliban and Afghan authorities negotiators launched peace talks in Doha in September however progress has been gradual and violence has raged throughout Afghanistan regardless.

Officials advised AFP on Friday nonetheless {that a} breakthrough was anticipated to be introduced within the coming days, and the US State Department introduced late Friday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would meet negotiators from the Taliban and the Afghan authorities in Doha.

Trump has repeatedly vowed to finish “forever wars”, together with in Afghanistan, America’s longest-ever battle, which started with an invasion to dislodge the Taliban following the 11 September, 2001 assaults.

President-elect Joe Biden, in a uncommon level of settlement with Trump, additionally advocates winding down the Afghanistan warfare though analysts imagine he is not going to be as wedded to a fast timetable.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon mentioned it could quickly pull about 2,000 troops out of Afghanistan, dashing up the timeline established in a February settlement between Washington and the Taliban that envisions a full US withdrawal by mid-2021.

In the previous six months, the Taliban has carried out 53 suicide assaults and 1,250 explosions that left 1,210 civilians lifeless and a pair of,500 wounded, inside ministry spokesman Tariq Arian mentioned this week.

The inside ministry mentioned two small “sticky bomb” explosions had been reported earlier Saturday morning, together with one which hit a police automobile, killing one policeman and wounding three others.

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