Taliban fire rockets at Afghan capital

August 5, 2009 - 0:0

KABUL (Reuters) -- Taliban militants fired at least nine rockets at the Afghan capital in a pre-dawn attack on Tuesday, police said, injuring a child and causing some damage in the biggest such attack in years.

The Taliban have vowed to disrupt the presidential election on August 20 and have called on Afghans to boycott the ballot, the second direct presidential poll since the Islamists were toppled in 2001.
Senior police officer Sayed Ghafar said two rockets landed in the Wazir Akbar Khan diplomatic area, home to various embassies as well as the NATO-led force headquarters in Afghanistan, while the rest landed elsewhere in Kabul.
The Islamists said they fired 12 rockets at Kabul and the target was the city's combined civilian and military airport.
Residents said Tuesday's rocket attack was the biggest for several years.
The Taliban have stepped up attacks in the country ahead of the elections, but the violence has mostly been kept out of the capital.
A roadside bomb attack claimed by the Taliban killed at least 12 people in western Afghanistan on Monday after a bloody weekend in which 9 foreign troops were killed.
NATO and the U.S. military have poured in thousands of extra soldiers in recent months to secure the election which is crucial both for Afghanistan and the United States, which has made Afghanistan its top foreign-policy priority.