Mortar shells strike Kabul as Afghans mark Independence Day

Kabul, August 18

Several mortar shells slammed into varied a part of Kabul on Tuesday morning, wounding at the least 10 civilians as Afghans marked their nation’s Independence Day amid new uncertainties over the beginning of talks between the Taliban and the Kabul authorities.

No militant group took accountability for the assault.

The Interior Ministry’s spokesman, Tariq Arian, stated a complete of 14 mortar shells have been fired from two autos within the northern and japanese a part of the Afghan capital. Four youngsters have been among the many wounded.

“Most of the mortar shells hit residential houses,” Arian stated, including that an investigation was underneath approach.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani sings the nationwide anthem after laying flowers on the Independence Minaret monument throughout the Independence Day celebrations on the Defence Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP/PTI

According to eyewitnesses, who spoke on situation of anonymity fearing reprisals, at the least one mortar shell landed within the upscale Wazir Akbar Khan neighbourhood, the place diplomats and senior authorities officers reside.

The assault got here a day after the federal government stated it could not launch the final 320 Taliban prisoners it holds till the insurgents free extra captured Afghan troopers. The choice went towards that of a conventional Afghan council held earlier this month — the Loya Jirga — and is more likely to additional delay intra-Afghan peace talks sought by the United States.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated he wasn’t conscious of the mortar assault in Kabul. The Islamic State group’s affiliate, which operates in Afghanistan, has interrupted nationwide celebrations prior to now with rocket fireplace.

Also on Tuesday morning, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani attended an Independence Day ceremony on the Defence Ministry in Kabul, inspecting an honour guard and laying flowers on the Independence Minaret monument there. AP

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