Afghanistan: Taliban attack on Afghan presidential palace kills 4

25th Jun 2013

KABUL, (Xinhua): The Taliban attack on Afghan Presidential Palace in Kabul on Tuesday morning left all four militants dead, police said.

“Four militants involved in the attack are killed by our brave security forces,” Kabul police chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi told reporters near the scene.

Based on the initial reports, no security force personnel or civilian was harmed in the attack, he said.

The militants used Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and heavy weapons in the attack which began at around 6:30 a.m. local time as they tried to enter the eastern gate of the palace, he said.

The four-wheel-drive explosive-packed car was also detonated by the attackers, witnesses said.

They said the militants using false entry card had passed the first gate. Sporadic gunfire and RPG explosions lasted for more than one hour and half.

Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack which they said inflicted casualties on Afghan and U.S. forces.

The Taliban has intensified attacks since they launched annual spring offensive late April.

The incident came as the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins is visiting Kabul for talks with the Afghan leaders over the stalled peace talks with the Taliban.

Taliban opened their political office in Doha, Qatar, on June 18 but the first open peace talks between Taliban and the U.S. representatives over there the same day was cancelled.

Meanwhile the Afghan government suspended negotiations with the United States on a security pact on the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after 2014.

The Afghan government objected to the Taliban office raising the flag of ousted Taliban regime and using nameplate of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Taliban’s preference to negotiate with the U.S. instead of President Karzai administration also angered Kabul.


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