New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: At least three rockets landed near the Afghanistan Presidential Palace on Tuesday during the Eid al-Adha prayers, reported news agency ANI quoting Afghanistan's TOLO News. Rockets were fired at around 8 am from the Parwan-e-Se area and landed in Bagh-e-Ali Mardan and Chaman-e-Hozori areas in Kabul's District 1 and Manabe Bashari area in Kabul's District 2, the report said.

The rockets were heard across the heavily fortified Green Zone that houses the Presidential Palace and several embassies, including the US mission. "Today the enemies of Afghanistan launched rocket attacks in different parts of Kabul city," AFP quoted Afghanistan's Interior Ministry spokesman Mirwais Stanikzai as saying.

"All the rockets hit three different parts. Based on our initial information, we have no casualties. Our team is investigating," he added.

Minutes after the attack, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani began an address to the nation in the presence of some of his top officials. Rockets have been aimed at the palace several times in the past, the last being in December.

The attack coincides with a sweeping Taliban offensive across the country as foreign forces wind up a troop withdrawal scheduled to be complete by August 31. The United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces will complete military withdrawal by the end of August.

Meanwhile, the Taliban is taking control of more territory in Afghanistan, while the Afghan forces have launched a counterattack to push back the Taliban fighters. The United States on Monday termed the meeting between the Afghan government and Taliban in Doha as "a positive step".

The US Special Representative to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said that only a negotiated political settlement can end this senseless violence. "The Afghanistan leaders meeting in Doha on July 17-18 was a positive step. The parties agreed to accelerate negotiations for a political settlement that ends the war and responds to the aspirations of all men and women of Afghanistan. But more must be done, urgently," Khalilzad tweeted.

"Afghans are suffering terribly from the war. Credible reports of atrocities are emerging. The parties' commitment to preventing civilian casualties is a start, but only a negotiated political settlement can end this senseless violence," he added.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan