Rockets hit Kabul as Afghan president prays during Eid amid fears Taliban is closing on capital

ROCKETS struck yards from the presidential palace in Kabul today as Afghan leader Ashraf Ghani kneeled in prayer for Eid al-Adha.

Video footage shows the president and others calmly continuing their outdoor worship as security guards race towards the sound of explosions.

Three rockets landed outside the palace, said interior ministry spokesman Mirwais Stanekzai. He added there were no immediate reports of injuries.

It comes amid growing fears the Taliban is closing in on the capital after seizing vast swathes of Afghanistan in a six-week blitz.

The terror group denied they were involved in today's attack on the heavily fortified palace.

Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters the insurgents were in a "state of defence" during the Muslim holy festival.

However the Taliban has not officially declared a ceasefire for Eid this week, unlike in some previous years.


Insurgents have for years fired rockets into Kabul, usually inflicting only minor damage and few casualties.

In March last year, four rockets fell on the edge of the palace compound during Ghani's inauguration as president.

ISIS insurgents claimed responsibility for that attack.

President Ghani has insisted his forces are able to withstand the Taliban onslaught after the US and Nato allies withdrew the last troops.

Joe Biden has also said he is confident the Afghan National Army is up to the job, despite fears of a Taliban takeover.

Yesterday the US embassy published an open letter begging the mullahs to end their rampage across the country.

Insurgents seized at least a third of Afghanistan is a devastating offensive timed to coincide with the US withdrawal.

Earlier this month the Taliban claimed to have control of 85 per cent of the country, although this is disputed.

Militants have seized strategic border towns along a huge arc of territory from the Iranian border in the west to the Chinese frontier in the east.

They have also forced thousands of Afghan troops to flee, and captured hundreds of pieces of US heavy armour.

Millions face being plunged back into brutal oppression under the Taliban not seen since the invasion 20 years ago.

Last week it was reported mullahs asked for a list of all girls over 15 and widows under 45 to be married to fighters.

There are also fears the country will once again become a training ground for terrorists like ISIS and al-Qaeda.

George W Bush, who launched the war on terror in 2001, has said the US withdrawal is a "mistake" and he fears for Afghan girls.

And the UK government was criticised for admitting it will deal with the Taliban if it seizes power in Kabul.

Experts say China is ready to prop up a Taliban regime as part of its plan for economic dominance over the Middle East.

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