Afghan VP vows to track down Kabul attackers

Afghan VP vows to track down Kabul attackers
Afghan security personnel inspect the site of an explosion targeting the convoy of Afghanistan’s Vice President Amrullah Saleh in Kabul recently. (File/AFP)
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Updated 23 November 2020

Afghan VP vows to track down Kabul attackers

Afghan VP vows to track down Kabul attackers
  • Several buildings including medical complex damaged in deadly assault

KABUL: Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh has vowed to track down those responsible for a rocket attack on the capital that killed at least 10 people, even as Daesh claimed to have fired the salvo.

The rockets struck several densely populated districts of Kabul Saturday — including in and around the heavily fortified Green Zone that houses embassies and foreign firms.

The attack came hours before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was to meet with negotiators from the Taliban and Afghan government in Qatar, amid signs of progress in talks between the two warring groups.

“We will find out the networks who facilitated in transporting the materials (rockets) used in the attack,” Saleh said on his Facebook page after a meeting with security officials.

Saleh said the attack left 10 people dead and another 51 wounded.

Several buildings were damaged, including the Iranian Embassy and a medical complex.

Although the attack was claimed by Daesh, officials blamed the Taliban. They have denied involvement.

It was the third attack in the capital claimed by Daesh in less than a month.

Two previous attacks targeted educational centers and killed nearly 50 people, mostly students.

The Taliban and Afghan government have been engaged in peace talks in Doha since Sept. 12, but violence on the ground continues unabated.

In Doha, Pompeo met with the co-founder of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who signed the peace agreement with Washington in February ahead of the so-called intra-Afghan talks.

Taliban spokesman Mohammed Naeem tweeted that further prisoner releases were discussed in the meeting, in addition to those that the two sides committed to ahead of peace talks under the US deal.

Afghanistan, meanwhile, faces funding cuts and tighter restrictions on vital aid from a virtual international donor conference hosted in Geneva.

Ministers from about 70 countries and officials of humanitarian organizations, at the conference on Monday and Tuesday, are expected to pledge billions of dollars to safeguard development projects.

Donors at the last conference, in Brussels in 2016, pledged $15.2 billion for 2017 to 2020, or $3.8 billion a year.