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Rocket fire hits complex near U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan

By
Nicholas Sakelaris

Sept. 11 (UPI) -- An explosion and thick smoke were seen early Wednesday near the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, on the day the United States remembered the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks 18 years ago.

Witnesses said the strike appears to have been a rocket attack, which hit the Afghan defense ministry near the U.S. embassy grounds in Kabul, setting off a warning alarm.

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No injuries were reported, and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The blast occurred days after Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the United States would regret abandoning peace talks aimed at withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, where they have had a constant presence since late 2001.

"We had two ways to end the occupation in Afghanistan," Mujahid said Tuesday. "One was fighting, the other was talks and negotiations. If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it."

Taliban negotiators were scheduled to meet with their U.S. counterparts at Camp David last weekend. President Donald Trump ultimately canceled the summit, amid criticism for hosting the insurgent group and a Taliban attack in Kabul that killed a U.S. soldier.

Wednesday's attack came on the day of the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Speaking at the Pentagon, Trump said U.S. armed forced are hitting the Taliban "harder than they have ever been hit before."

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