Rocket blast at US embassy in Afghanistan on anniversary of 9/11

Rocket blast at US embassy in Afghanistan on anniversary of 9/11
File image.

A rocket exploded at the US embassy in Afghanistan just minutes into Wednesday, the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the United States.

A plume of smoke rose over central Kabul and sirens could be heard.

Inside the embassy, employees heard this message over the loudspeaker: “An explosion caused by a rocket has occurred on compound.”

About an hour later the all-clear was given, with no injuries reported.

There was no immediate comment from Afghan officials or those with the Nato mission, which is also nearby.

It was the first major attack in the Afghan capital since President Donald Trump abruptly called off US-Taliban talks on the brink of an apparent deal to end America’s longest war.

Two Taliban car bombs shook Kabul last week, killing several civilians and two members of the Nato mission.

Mr Trump has cited the death of a US service member in one of those blasts as the reason why he now calls the US-Taliban talks “dead”.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

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, who had harboured Osama bin Laden, the al Qaida leader and attacks mastermind.

In the nearly 18 years of fighting since then, the number of US troops in Afghanistan soared to 100,000 and dropped dramatically after bin Laden was killed in neighbouring Pakistan in 2011.

Now about 14,000 US troops remain and Mr Trump has called it “ridiculous” that they are still in Afghanistan after so long and so many billions of dollars spent.

It is not clear whether the US-Taliban talks will resume.

Almost 3,000 people died on September 11, 2001, in the worst act of terrorism on American soil.

Today - 18 years later - they will be remembered at a commemoration at Ground Zero in New York.

As has happened in years past, the names of those killed at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and aboard Flight 93 will be read during the ceremony.

More on this topic

Donald Trump to mark 9/11 attacks anniversary at Pennsylvania memorialDonald Trump to mark 9/11 attacks anniversary at Pennsylvania memorial

LIVE VIDEO: September 11 commemoration beginsLIVE VIDEO: September 11 commemoration begins

Landing gear matches 9/11 planesLanding gear matches 9/11 planes

Piece of landing gear from 9/11 plane found in NYCPiece of landing gear from 9/11 plane found in NYC

More in this Section

Youth leaders at UN demand bold climate change actionYouth leaders at UN demand bold climate change action

Father who confronted Boris Johnson over NHS says daughter is doing betterFather who confronted Boris Johnson over NHS says daughter is doing better

Jeremy Corbyn under fire over Labour Brexit policyJeremy Corbyn under fire over Labour Brexit policy

Trump says Ukrainian leader call ‘perfectly fine’ amid whistleblowing stormTrump says Ukrainian leader call ‘perfectly fine’ amid whistleblowing storm


Lifestyle

For an instant supper or lunch, fishcakes can be nourishing, warming and tasty. To complete a balanced meal, all it takes is some stirfried or roasted root vegetables.Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

My seven-year-old stood tall, whispered “bravery” to herself and stepped into the pitch-black dungeon. I stood there and watched her disappear.Learner Dad: I hate nostalgia, I think it’s mawkish and sentimental

Dr Phil Kieran says head lice is incredibly common among school children and offers practical advice on how to remove the crawlers with easy treatments.Tackling head lice: Easy treatments to remove itchy creepers

Gráinne Healy only started running regularly a few years ago. She’s already completed 50 parkruns. She tells Rowena Walsh what motivates her.Ageing with Attitude: Parkruns and quiet Friday nights

More From The Irish Examiner