Rocket hits embassy area in capital of Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan - A rocket slammed into a Kabul district housing several embassies yesterday, the latest in a series of attacks in the Afghan capital despite heavy security measures.
No casualties were reported in the nighttime blast, which occurred in the Wazir Akbar Khan district that includes the German, Japanese, and British embassies. Police said the rocket landed on a side street and broke a few windows.
Such attacks are far rarer in Kabul than in Baghdad during the height of the Iraq war, when the Iraqi capital was shaken daily by numerous explosions.
However, a rocket exploded Dec. 26 inside the grounds of the Afghan Defense Ministry in the center of Kabul near the presidential palace, causing no casualties. On Dec. 15 a suicide car bomber struck near the home of a former Afghan vice president and a hotel frequented by Westerners. Eight people were killed and nearly 40 were wounded.
Also yesterday, NATO revealed that five Afghan civilians were wounded two days before when US Marines and Afghan forces opened fire during a protest outside a military base in southern Afghanistan. It was the second demonstration to turn violent this week in the Garmsir District of the southern Helmand Province, a Taliban-influenced area expected to be a major focus of President Obama’s troop surge. Tensions have been high in the area over allegations that international forces desecrated a Koran during a raid there. Six people were killed Tuesday in another demonstration in the same place.