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At least 8 dead as barrage of rocket fire hits Kabul

At least eight people were killed Saturday when a barrage of rockets struck densely populated parts of Kabul, officials said, marking the latest attack in an ongoing wave of violence sweeping the Afghan capital. “The terrorists fired 23 rockets on the city of Kabul. Based on the initial information, eight people were martyred, and 31 others were wounded,” said interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian, who blamed the Taliban for the attack. A police source also confirmed the toll. The salvo slammed into various parts of central and north Kabul -- including near the heavily fortified Green Zone that houses embassies and international companies -- just before 9:00 am (0430 GMT).

No group immediately claimed the blasts and the Taliban denied responsibility. “The rocket attack in Kabul city has nothing to do with the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said, using the insurgents’ name for Afghanistan. “We do not blindly fire on public places.” The Islamic State group claimed the two attacks on educational centres, but Kabul said the Taliban’s ultra-violent Haqqani network was responsible.

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