Blasts in Kabul as foreigners mark Christmas

2013-12-25 12:01
Christmas tree (File, AFP)

Christmas tree (File, AFP)

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Kabul - Two rockets exploded in Kabul on Wednesday morning, causing no reported casualties but underlining Afghanistan's continuing security problems as many foreigners in the capital marked Christmas Day.

One landed near a hill where former kings and members of the old royal family are buried in a large mausoleum, a spokesperson for the National Directorate of Security (NDS) told AFP.

"We can confirm two rocket attacks on Kabul. One impacted near Maranjan hill, about 1.6km from the presidential palace. There are no reported casualties," Lutfullah Mashal said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the strikes, but Taliban militants fighting the US-backed government have often targeted Kabul since being ousted from power in 2001.

Earlier this month a Taliban suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle near a Nato military convoy entering the city airport, killing himself but causing no other deaths or injuries.

In October a car bomb attack killed two civilians outside a compound housing foreign workers near the airport.

Kabul has seen a recent drop in insurgent attacks after a series of high-profile strikes earlier in the year, with the NDS claiming to have foiled several plots to launch complex assaults involving truck bombs and suicide gunmen.

The Supreme Court, the airport, foreign compounds and the presidential palace were all targeted in major attacks during 2013.

Nato forces are withdrawing from Afghanistan after more than a decade of fighting the Taliban, but negotiations have stalled on a security accord that would allow some US and Nato troops to stay after 2014.

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