Rocket strike near US Embassy in Afghanistan on anniversary of 9/11
A rocket narrowly missed the US Embassy compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sept. 11, 2019, during the first few minutes of the 18th anniversary of 9/11.
Loudspeakers inside the office broadcast a warning that "an explosion caused by a rocket has occurred on compound," The Associated Press reported.
No one was injured, the nearby NATO mission told the AP.
A US State Department official told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: "We can confirm there was an explosion near the US Embassy in Kabul. US mission personnel were not directly impacted by this explosion."
Nosrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of the Interior, told Gulf News that the rocket hit a wall at the defense ministry and that no one was hurt.
Photograph of thick smoke visible in Central Kabul on 9/11 anniversary after midnight explosion. Still no details out on casualties or exact nature of the blast. US Embassy alarm bells did go off. Waiting for more details. #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/nf2VWmMnAz— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) September 10, 2019
The news came amid heightened tensions between the US and the Taliban, the insurgent group that rules over large swathes of Afghanistan.
US and Taliban officials were due to meet at Camp David in Maryland on Sept. 8, 2019, to discuss a peace process and an end to the US military presence in Afghanistan, but President Donald Trump abruptly canceled the talks the day before.
About 14,000 US troops remain in the country, a situation that has angered Trump. Last month, the US and the Taliban reached a provisional agreement to remove several thousand troops.
However, on Sept. 9, 2019, Trump said the talks were "dead." He cited the death of a US service member killed by a Taliban car bomb at a Kabul NATO checkpoint on Sept. 5, 2019, in canceling the covert Sept. 8, 2019 meeting.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, told Al Jazeera that the US would suffer the consequences of axing the talks.
The US Embassy in Kabul.
"We had two ways to end the occupation in Afghanistan. One was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations," he said.
He added: "If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it."
The US invaded Afghanistan in November 2001 with the aim of defeating Al Qaeda and hunting down Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks whom the US accused the Taliban of hiding.
As many as 100,000 US troops were in Afghanistan at the war's peak, and more than 2,400 have been killed.
The US Embassy in Kabul did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.
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