Afghan Presidential Palace Hit by Missile Attack

  • No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • France has called on the Afghan government not to release Taliban Islamists whose hands are stained with the blood of French citizens.
  • The Afghan government has been releasing members of the Taliban since Thursday, some of whom are considered "dangerous."

According to the Afghan Interior Ministry, 14 missiles were fired at Kabul on Tuesday, the 100th anniversary of Afghan independence. One of the places attacked was the Presidential Palace in Afghanistan. The Ministry said the missiles were fired from two vehicles in Kabul’s 8th and 17th districts (located northwest and east of Kabul).

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is an Afghan politician and current president of Afghanistan, elected on 21 September 2014. An anthropologist by education, he previously served as finance minister and the chancellor of Kabul University.

According to Tariq Arian, spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, at around 9:30 AM today, rockets were fired from two vehicles at the first, second, tenth, sixteenth, and ninth districts of Kabul, most of which hit residential houses. During the missile strikes, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani was present at the laying of a wreath at the foot of the Esteghlal Minaret in the Ministry of Defense.

At least 10 people were injured during the incident, some of them women and children. Two people are also said to have been arrested in connection with the rocket attacks. A number of rockets landed near a place commemorating the anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence.

The ceremony was held in the area where the embassies and international institutions are located. In addition to the Presidential Palace, the Department of Defense, the Central Bank, the US Embassy, ​​NATO Headquarters in Afghanistan, and a number of other ministries are located in these areas.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government and Taliban forces have announced that they are planning to hold peace talks to end decades of war and conflict in the country. The condition for the start of these talks is the release of 400 “dangerous” members of the Taliban. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

France’s Request to Afghanistan

France has called on the Afghan government not to release Taliban Islamists whose hands are stained with the blood of French citizens. The Afghan government intends to release a large number of prisoners of this Islamist organization with the aim of establishing lasting peace in the country.

The French Foreign Ministry in Paris says among those to be released are “dangerous terrorists” involved in the killing of soldiers or paramedics. While supporting the Afghan government’s conciliatory actions, France emphasizes the rights of victims and believes that criminals should be dealt with legally.

The Taliban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), are a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement and military organization in Afghanistan currently waging war (an insurgency, or jihad) within that country. Since 2016, the Taliban’s leader is Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.

“We urge the Afghan authorities not to release the terrorists,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Freedom of “Mojahedin”

The Afghan government has been releasing members of the Taliban since Thursday, some of whom are considered “dangerous.” According to the Afghan National Security Council, 80 Taliban members have been released from Pol-e Charkhi prison, the country’s largest prison.

Since the start of the inter-Afghan talks, Taliban Islamists have made the release of about 400 “extremely dangerous” prisoners a condition for starting talks with the government.

An agreement reached between the Taliban and the United States in February provided for the exchange of some 5,000 Taliban prisoners against about 1,000 government officials held by the Taliban. Taliban spokesman Sohail Shaheen said on Monday that Taliban representatives would be ready to talk to the government just one week after the prisoners were released.

Following the Loya Jirga’s affirmative opinion, which ended last Sunday, President Ashraf Ghani signed and announced the mass release of Taliban prisoners.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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