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Islamic State group claims Kabul rocket attacks that left eight dead and 31 wounded

The rockets hit various parts of central and north Kabul just before 9:00 am local time.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/Jono Photography

Updated Sat 1:57 PM

THE ISLAMIC STATE group has claimed responsibility for the deadly Kabul attack that has killed eight people and injured 31 after a barrage of rockets hit the Afghan capital.

The rockets hit various parts of central and north Kabul – including near the heavily fortified Green Zone that houses embassies and international companies – just before 9:00 am local time.

“The terrorists fired 23 rockets on the city of Kabul. Based on the initial information, eight people were martyred, and 31 others were wounded,” said interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian, who blamed the Taliban for the attack. A police source also confirmed the toll.

Photos and videos circulating online showed several buildings with damage to walls and windows, including at a large a medical complex.

The group confirmed that 28 Katyusha rockets were fired at the city earlier this morning. 

Recent attacks in Kabul, including two horrific assaults on educational institutions that killed nearly 50 people in recent weeks, follow a familiar pattern in the aftermath, with the Taliban denying any involvement while the Afghan government 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 said, using the insurgents’ name for Afghanistan.

“We do not blindly fire on public places.”

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The Taliban are under pressure not to attack urban areas, having pledged not to do so under the terms of a US withdrawal deal signed in February.

Any acknowledgement of overt involvement in such incidents could slow the American pull-out, though outgoing US President Donald Trump has made clear that he wants US forces out regardless of the situation on the ground. 

The Islamic State group claimed the two attacks on educational centres, but Kabul said the Taliban’s ultra-violent Haqqani network was responsible. 

© Agence France-Presse

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