On Tuesday, at least three rockets hit near the presidential palace shortly before Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was to address the citizens to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid-a-Adha.

According to Mirwais Stanikzai, spokesman for the interior minister, the rockets landed outside the heavily fortified palace grounds and there were no injuries. The presidential palace is in the middle of a so-called Green Zone that is fortified with giant cement blast walls and barbed wire. Streets near the palace have long been closed off. No one immediately took responsibility for the rocket attack.

The recent withdrawal from the US and NATO forces from Afghanistan has unnerved Afghans, uncertain whether their country will fall deeper into chaos and violence. In an earlier address by President Joe Biden this month, the withdrawal is more than 95% complete and the final US soldier will be gone by August 31.

On Monday, Abdullah Abdullah, the No. 2 official in the government, returned from the first high-level round of peace talks with the Taliban in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar. During the rocket attack, Abdullah was at the palace. People inside the palace were far removed from where the rockets landed.


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