Kabul gathering attended by Abdullah comes under attack

A ceremony in Kabul attended by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has come under a gun and rocket attack but the Afghan leader escaped unharmed, his spokesman said on Friday.

“The attack started with a boom, apparently a rocket landed in the area, Abdullah and some other politicians … escaped the attack unhurt,” Fraidoon Kwazoon was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

The Ministry of Interior Affairs said at least 18 people were wounded in the attack, which was condemned by President Ashraf Ghani, who called it “a crime against humanity”.

“Soon after the attack, police forces and police special forces units rushed to the scene,” Nasrat Rahimi, the spokesman for the ministry, told a local news station.

It was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties.

Broadcaster Tolo News showed live footage of people running for cover as gunfire was heard.

The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack on the gathering marking the anniversary of the death of Abdul Ali Mazari, an ethnic Hazara leader who was killed in 1995 after being taken prisoner by the armed fighters.

The incident comes less than a week after the United States and the Taliban signed a deal that would pave the way for the complete withdrawal of foreign troops in 14 months.

However, fighting has continued to rage across the country, casting a pall over hopes that the agreement would lead to a reduction in violence.

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