Afghanistan President Karzai survives Taliban Assassination Attempt
KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai was hussled away from a celebration on Sunday in the capital, Kabul, after gunshots were heard, Reuters witnesses said.
Government ministers were also seen leaving the celebration near the presidential palace and state television cut off live transmission of the celebration, which marked the 16th anniversary of fall of Kabul to the Mujahideen.
Sounds of gun fire could be still heard after television stopped coverage of the event. It was unclear what prompted the gunfire.
Explosions, gunfire disrupt Kabul military parade
KABUL (AFP) — Taliban extremists attacked an Afghan military parade on Sunday, sending thousands of troops and police scattering although President Hamid Karzai and other attending dignitaries were unharmed.
Gunfire and explosions erupted after Karzai had taken the stage following an inspection of troops in what was meant to have been the largest annual parade of Afghanistan’s growing military.
Karzai and the scores of cabinet members, ambassadors, US military commanders assembled on the stage for the event slammed to the floor or were whisked out but they were unharmed, officials said.
The extremist Taliban movement said it had attacked the event and three of its men were killed.
“We carried out the attack. We fired rockets at the scene of the celebration,” a spokesman for the insurgent group, Zabihullah Mujahed, told an AFP reporter.
“We had place six personnel in the area,” he said. “Three of our men have been killed.”
He did not immediately say how they were killed but an AFP reporter at the scene said there was an exchange of fire, apparently between the attackers and troops.
A security officer at the scene said one suspected attacker was arrested.
An official at Karzai’s palace said he was safe and back in the presidential palace.
“It is not clear at this stage what exactly happened but the president and other dignitaries are safe,” the official said on condition of anonymity.