Taliban attack presidential palace in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan — A series of explosions rocked one of the most secure areas of the Afghan capital early Tuesday in an attack outside the presidential palace.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the early-morning attack that came when reporters were gathering for a news conference called by President Hamid Karzai, who was expected to talk about ongoing efforts to open peace talks with the militant group.
They counted at least seven or eight explosions and then about 45 minutes of an on-and-off gunbattle.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid sent a text message saying the militants had “brought death to the enemy” with a suicide attack, but further details were not immediately available.
Police had no immediate comment.
The palace is in a large fortified area of downtown Kabul that also includes the U.S. Embassy and the headquarters for the NATO-led coalition forces and where access is heavily restricted.
Lt. Col. Frank Hoelzner, a spokesman for the NATO coalition, said he had no immediate information but that the headquarters had not been affected by the attack. The U.S. Embassy was not immediately available for comment.
The Taliban have indicated they are willing to open peace talks with the U.S. and the Afghanistan government and just last week opened an office in Qatar for possible negotiations.
But at the same time they have not renounced violence and attacks have continued across Afghanistan.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.