A rocket exploded at the US embassy in Afghanistan in the wee hours of Wednesday, the 9/11 anniversary, in what is the first major attack in the Afghan capital since President Donald Trump abruptly called off US-Taliban talks over the weekend, on the brink of an apparent deal to end America's longest war.
Kabul: A plume of smoke rose over Kabul just after midnight and sirens could be heard after a large explosion rocked Afghanistan's capital near the US Embassy in the early hours of Wednesday on the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the United States.
Though there was no immediate official comment, an embassy employee reached by phone confirmed that the explosion took places. An AP report stated that a rocket exploded at the US Embassy, but officials, an hour later, declared that it was all-clear and that there were no injuries reported. The nearby NATO mission also stated that there were no injuries to personnel.
The Taliban and the US were on the brink of an apparent deal to end America's longest war. However, US President Donald Trump abruptly called off US-Taliban talks over the weekend. There has been no official word to surmise what impact this will have on the deal between the two.
Several civilians and two members of the NATO mission were killed last week in Kabul after two Taliban car bombs shook the Afghan capital. The death of a US service member in one of those blasts prompted Trump to call the US-Taliban talks "dead."
The 9/11 anniversary is a sensitive day in Afghanistan's capital and one on which attacks have occurred. A US-led invasion of Afghanistan shortly after the 2001 attack toppled the Taliban and there has been nearly 18 years of fighting since then.
The number of US troops in Afghanistan soared to 100,000 in these years but dropped considerably after al-Qaida leader and attacks mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed in neighbouring Pakistan in 2011.
Trump called the fact that US is still in Afghanistan after spending billions of dollars over the years "ridiculous".
Nearly 14,000 US troops remain, and it is unclear if there will be a resumption of talks between the US and Taliban.
With PTI inputs
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Last Updated 11, Sep 2019, 10:10 AM