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Massive missile attack launched near presidential palace in Kabul

Massive missile attack launched near presidential palace in Kabul
At least twenty missiles have been fired in Kabul, targeting the diplomatic zone and landing near the presidential palace. The attack came as President Ashraf Ghani was speaking at an Eid prayer ceremony.

Rockets landed in four different parts of Kabul on Tuesday morning, according to Tolo. The missiles hit near the diplomatic area and some reportedly landed near the presidential palace. Later in the day, police recovered remnants of 20 rockets in the city, the outlet said citing police.

The first rocket hit somewhere “near the presidency,” the second near a NATO compound and the US Embassy in Kabul, AP reported citing a police official. Black smoke was seen rising from the buildings as military helicopters were flying near the Eidgah Mosque in Reka Khana district, where clashes are reportedly ongoing.

Security forces killed two “insurgents” in the aftermath of the attack, Tolo said. Two people were reportedly wounded.
Blasts were heard in the background as President Ghani was delivering his Eid message. The Afghan leader did not stop his speech, saying that the rocket attack will not “keep the Afghans down.”

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, but it comes just two days after Ghani declared a ceasefire with the Taliban ahead of Eid celebrations. However, the group rejected the offer on Monday, when it was supposed to have taken effect, as militants ambushed three buses and kidnapped the passengers. 

READ MORE: US changing its tune in Afghanistan as 'barbaric' Taliban becomes bulwark against ISIS

Afghan security forces reportedly freed nearly 160 kidnapped people on Tuesday, but the group is still holding at least 20 military personnel hostage.

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