As Afghans celebrated the first day of Eid-al-Adha, Kabul residents were subjected to a serious rocket attack early Tuesday morning.
The attack started at about 9am and lasted for more than half an hour. However, the insurgents behind the attack were quickly tracked down by security forces and a clash involving both sides lasted until about 12 noon.
According to Resolute Support spokesman Lt. Colonel Martin O’Donnell, nine insurgents had been involved.
O’Donnell said: “Approximately 30 mortar rounds from two separate, but nearby locations in Kabul's Police District 8. Afghan forces responded swiftly to the attack with coordinated combined arms, which speaks to growing capabilities of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces under the NATO-led Resolute Support train, advise and assist mission.
“Afghan police cordoned off the area, while MD-530 helicopters from the Afghan Air Force destroyed one firing position and Afghan Special Security Forces destroyed the other.
“In total, four of the nine insurgents were killed. The other five insurgents surrendered to Afghan forces,” he said.
The rocket attack started while President Ashraf Ghani was delivering his Eid message from the Presidential Palace.
With the thud of rockets in the background, Ghani interrupted his speech and said: "If they are thinking the rocket attack will keep Afghans down, they are wrong."
O’Donnell meanwhile said: “Such an auspicious day, Eid al-Adha, should be marked with blessings, not bombs.”
Afghan officials meanwhile said six people had been wounded in the attack. According to the Kabul Garrison Chief Gen. Murad Ali Murad only two insurgents had been involved.
However, by 6pm local time, no serious attacks or battles had taken place across the country on Tuesday – except for the Kabul rocket attack.
The Taliban denied responsibility for the rocket attack early afternoon but Daesh later claimed the attack.
Residents attending Eid prayers around the country meanwhile prayed for peace and called on the Taliban to join the peace process.
“I have not lost hope. We want a permanent ceasefire,” Rohullah, a resident of Kaubl said.
“I hope permanent peace comes and our people live in a peaceful environment,” another Kabul resident, Qudratullah said.
In the meantime, Zabul residents also called for peace and said “we are tired of war.”
A religious scholar said: “May Allah bring peace to Afghanistan and take the war away.”
Zabul’s acting provincial governor, Rahmatullah Yarmal, said that “if the Taliban want, we will be ready to implement the ceasefire in the province.”
“We work based on the constitution and for the people’s welfare,” Yarmal said.
The residents of southern Kandahar province also celebrated the first day of Eid in peace but local security forces said that security was tight.
“I maintain people’s security and want every part of the country to be secure,” Bashir Ahmad, a local policeman said.
Jahangir, a resident of Kandahar said: “I hope security is maintained tightly in parks.”