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US Afghanistan embassy hit by rocket at midnight on 9/11 anniversary



The US Embassy compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, was hit by a rocket during the first few minutes of the 18th anniversary of 9/11 on Wednesday.

Loudspeakers inside the office broadcast a warning that “an explosion caused by a rocket has occurred on compound” in the minutes after the strike at midnight, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

No one was injured, a nearby NATO mission told the AP.

A US State Department official told Radio Free Europe: “We can confirm there was an explosion near the US Embassy in Kabul. US mission personnel were not directly impacted by this explosion.”

The news comes amid heightened tensions between the US and the Taliban, the insurgent group which rules over large swathes of Afghanistan.

US and Taliban officials were due to meet at Camp David, Maryland, on Sunday to discuss a peace process and a possible end to the US military presence in Afghanistan.

Donald Trump pictured on September 9, 2019.
Erin Scott / REUTERS

14,000 US troops remain in the country, a situation which has angered President Donald Trump. A provisional agreement to remove several thousand was reached between the US and Taliban in August.

However, on Monday Trump labelled the talks “dead” and cancelled the covert Sunday meeting, citing the death of a US serviceman killed by a Taliban car bomb at a Kabul NATO checkpoint on Thursday.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Al Jazeera the US would suffer the consequences of axing the talks.

The US Embassy in Kabul.
Wikimedia Commons

“We had two ways to end the occupation in Afghanistan. One was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations,” he said.

“If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it.”

The US invasion of Afghanistan began in November 2001 with the aim of defeating al-Qaeda and hunting down 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, whom the US accused the Taliban of hiding.

Read more: The GOP lawmakers disgusted by Trump’s invitation to the Taliban are the latest sign his foreign policy is in shambles

As many as 100,000 US troops were in Afghanistan at the invasion’s peak, and more than 2,400 have been killed.

US soldiers troops in Afghanistan.
REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

Business Insider has contacted the embassy for comment, but is yet to receive a response.

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