June 25, 2013

Taliban attack presidential palace in Kabul

By David Rising and Rahim Faiez / The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Afghan security forces stand guard near the entrance gate of the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday. Suicide attackers blew up a car bomb and battled security forces outside Afghanistan's presidential palace after infiltrating one of the most secure areas of the capital.

AP

The U.S. Embassy cancelled all consular appointments and advised American citizens in Kabul to stay indoors.

Ambassador James Cunningham condemned the attack, and extended U.S. "condolences to all Afghans affected by these senseless acts."

"All of the attackers were killed, without success in achieving their goals — This again demonstrates the futility of the Taliban's efforts to use violence and terror to achieve their aims," he said in a statement. "We again call on the Taliban to come to the table to talk to the Afghanistan government about peace and reconciliation."

The Taliban have indicated they are willing to open peace talks with the U.S. and the Afghanistan government and just last week opened an office in Qatar for possible negotiations.

But at the same time they have not renounced violence and attacks have continued across Afghanistan.

In the southern province of Kandahar, a minibus hit a bomb buried in the road, killing 11 members of a family, said Kandahar governor's spokesman Ahmad Jawed Faisal. Faisal said the dead included eight women, two children and a man, and two other men were also wounded.

In Oruzgan, the province north of Kandahar, provincial governor's spokesman Abdullah Hemat said Tuesday that six Afghan national police were killed the day before when their patrol was attacked with a roadside bomb.

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