Kabul, Afghanistan — At least three rockets struck near the presidential residence on Tuesday, just before Afghan President Ashraf Ghani gave a speech commemorating the Islamic holiday in Eid al-Adha.
Interior Minister spokesman Milweiss Stanikzai said no one was injured and the rocket landed outside the fortified palace grounds.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, but police quickly instigated the entire region. A car parked on a nearby street was completely destroyed. Police said it was used as a rocket launch pad.
The palace is in the middle of the so-called green zone, reinforced with huge cement blast walls and barbed wire, and the streets near the palace have long been closed.
The barrage came when the United States and NATO completed their final withdrawal from Afghanistan. Many Afghans have occupied major border crossings between several districts and neighboring countries in the past few weeks, devastated by war as foreign troops withdrew and the Taliban gained more territory on the ground. I am worried that the country will be deeply confused and violent.
The withdrawal is more than 95% complete, and the final US soldier will die by August 31, President Joe Biden said in a speech earlier this month.
“The Taliban have no intention or motivation for peace,” Gani said in his speech to the country on Tuesday. “We proved that we were willing, motivated and sacrificed for peace.”
Crab also lamented his government’s decision to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners to initiate peace talks that began last year, as a “major mistake” that only strengthened terrorists.
“We have released 5,000 prisoners to initiate peace talks, but to date the Taliban have shown no serious or meaningful interest in peace talks.”
Abdullah Abdullah, the second government bureaucrat, was in the palace after returning Monday from peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar during the rocket attack on Tuesday. However, the people in the palace were far from where the rocket landed.
The two-day meeting in Doha, the highest level of negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban to date, aimed to start the deadlocked negotiations in a hurry, but ended with a promise of higher negotiations.
In his speech, Crab also attacked neighboring Pakistan. Kabul has defended Taliban leaders and accused them of providing safe havens and support to armed groups. A recent battle in the Afghan border town of Spinboldak saw Taliban terrorists being treated in a Pakistani hospital across the Chaman border.
Pakistan is considered the key to peace in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s leadership is headquartered in Pakistan, and Islamabad is using its influence, which it claims is currently declining, to pressure the Taliban to talk about peace.
Pakistan also said that another terrorist group, the Pakistani Taliban Tehreek-e-Taliban, has allowed Pakistan to find security in Afghanistan, from which the number of attacks targeting Pakistani troops is increasing. He is deeply critical of Kabul.
“Pakistan does not want a Taliban regime in its home country,” Gani added, but their media is running a “campaign for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.”