Asia

Rocket explodes near US Embassy in Kabul

Large explosion has rocked near the US Embassy in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, but officials at the compound later declared an all-clear and reported no injuries.

A plume of smoke rose over the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood shortly after midnight on Wednesday and sirens could be heard.

Inside the embassy, employees heard a message over the loudspeaker saying a blast had gone off.

“An explosion caused by a rocket has occurred on compound,” it said.

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

There was no immediate comment from Afghan officials. The NATO mission, which is nearby, also said no personnel had been injured.The explosion came after US President Donald Trump abruptly called off US-Taliban talks over the weekend, on the brink of an apparent deal to end America’s longest military campaign.

Last week, several civilians and two members of the NATO mission lost their lives when two Taliban car bombs shook Kabul.

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

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