Rockets fired at Afghan presidential palace during Eid prayers

at 4:00 pm
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani addressing on Eid-Al-Adha after rockets fired outside the presidential palace

New Delhi: Three rockets were fired at the Afghan presidential palace in Kabul today when President Ashraf Ghani and other leaders begin prayers on the occasion of Eid-Al-Adha.

“The rockets landed when they just started the Eid prayers,” the Tolo News reported.

“Sources confirmed that the rockets were fired from Parwan-e-Se area in Kabul’s District 18 in the north of the city,” it said.

The rockets, fired at approximately 8 am (03:30 GMT) were heard across the heavily fortified Green Zone that houses the palace and several embassies, including the US mission, according to the local media.

Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, it was the first rocket attack on Kabul since the Taliban launched a series of offensives to coincide with the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country.

In a video posted by local media, it can be seen that dozens of men continued with their prayers even as the rockets are heard overhead and exploding nearby.

President Ashraf Ghani also continued with the prayers despite multiple loud explosions in the area.

“The Taliban have proved that they have no will and intention for peace,” he said in a speech afterwards.

Interior ministry spokesman Mirwais Stanikzai said three rockets appeared to have been fired from a pickup truck. One did not detonate, he said.

“Based on our initial information, we have no casualties,” he added.

This is not the first time rockets have been fired at the palace, the last instance of it being in December last year.