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ISIS claims responsibility for rocket attack on Afghan presidential palace in Kabul

Published: Updated:

ISIS claimed responsibility for rocket attacks in the Afghan capital Tuesday that struck near the presidential palace as the country’s leader held outdoor prayers to mark Eid.

“Soldiers of the caliphate targeted the presidential palace... and the Green Zone in Kabul with seven Katyusha rockets,” it said in a statement circulated on Telegram.

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At least three rockets landed Tuesday in the Afghan capital ahead of a speech by President Ashraf Ghani marking the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the interior ministry said.

The rockets, fired at around 8:00 am (0330 GMT), 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,” interior ministry spokesman Mirwais Stanikzai had said earlier.

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

Minutes after the attack, 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.