Rocket hits Afghan capital's diplomatic area, one hurt

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Originally published
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15 Jan 2010 16:41:31 GMT

Source: Reuters

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KABUL, Jan 15 (Reuters) - A rocket hit the diplomatic district of the Afghan capital Kabul on Friday, close to most Western embassies, the presidential palace and the United Nations' main office, a senior policeman said.

Abdulghafar Sayedzada, head of Kabul's criminal investigation unit, confirmed the rocket hit the Wazir Akbar Khan area, also home to many well-off Afghans and foreign companies.

One policeman was lightly wounded, a source from the city police command office told Reuters. There were no reports of other casualties.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Taliban guerrillas have in the past occasionally hit the capital with rockets but they rarely cause casualties.

A rocket landed inside the grounds of the Afghan Defence Ministry last month.

Security was tighter than usual around the site of Friday's blast, which another police source said was a building belonging to the "Afghan Joint Operations Centre".

Afghanistan is hosting two high-level Western diplomats this weekend, U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

Violence in Afghanistan has reached its highest levels in the eight-year war with Taliban insurgents spreading their insurgency from the south and east of the country to the capital and previously peaceful areas.

Washington is sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan to try and quell the mounting violence. Other NATO countries are sending around 7,000 more. There are some 110,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, including 68,000 Americans. (Reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Writing by Golnar Motevalli; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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