A rocket attack that struck Kabul this week as the city marked Afghanistan’s independence day killed at least three people, including two members of President Ashraf Ghani‘s honor guard, officials said Wednesday.
Fourteen rockets were fired into central Kabul on Tuesday as the country marked the 101st anniversary of its independence, with one of the missiles slamming into the compound of the famous Arg presidential palace.
Interior ministry spokesman Tareq Arian said three people, including two government employees, had been killed in the strike.
He did not specify who the employees were, but two palace officials told AFP on condition of anonymity they were members of Ghani’s honor guard.
Another six honor guard members were wounded when the rocket hit the palace compound shortly after Ghani had wrapped up his ceremonial duties Tuesday.
We condemn today's rocket attacks in Kabul and offer our heartfelt condolences to the victims and to their families. We stand with the Afghan people as they work for a sustainable peace so that future independence days will not be marred by violence.
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) August 18, 2020
The Arg Palace is located in a highly fortified area of the capital that also houses several embassies.
Arian said 16 other people were also wounded in the rocket salvo, including four children and a woman.
No group has so far claimed the attack, which came as the Afghan government and the Taliban are poised to begin peace talks.
Ghani’s swearing-in ceremony on March 9 was also interrupted by rocket fire near the palace. No serious injuries were reported at the time.
In August 2018, multiple rockets were fired in Kabul, including at the presidential palace, where Ghani was making a speech. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.