Afghanistan: Rockets Land Close To The Presidential Palace In Kabul


Three rockets landed close to the presidential palace in Kabul this morning during an Eid prayer ceremony attended by President Ashraf Ghani and other senior politicians.

“We heard the impact from our Surgical Centre for War Victims very well, as we are only a few hundred metres away,” said Marco Puntin, Country Director for EMERGENCY in Afghanistan. “After a few minutes, we received the first six wounded patients, the most serious of whom are already in the operating theatre.”

According to local sources, the rockets were fired from an area in the north of the city, Parwan-e-Se, and hit the areas of Bagh-e-Ali Mardan and Chaman-e-Hozori in District 1 and Manabe Bashari in District 2.

“The situation has deteriorated sharply since the beginning of May. Fighting has intensified in almost all provinces of Afghanistan and we are receiving many more patients than normal.”

Marco Puntin, Country Director for EMERGENCY in Afghanistan.

Just last week, Taliban fighters surrounded the city of Ghazni, on the main road between the provinces of Kabul and Kandahar. According to Afghanistan Analysts Network, the insurgents have conquered approximately 200 districts in the last three months, many of them since mid-June, which would mean that they now control more than half of the country. The Taliban have denied any involvement in this morning’s attack on the presidential palace.

EMERGENCY has seen the impact of this surge in fighting in its wards at the Kabul Surgical Centre for War Victims, where there has been an increase in the number of admissions. Whilst January saw 51 patients arrive with wounds caused by shrapnel from explosive devices, this number rose to 107 in June, while patients with bullet wounds rose from 113 to 138.

The story of J., a 38-year-old farmer from rural Logar province, south of Kabul, is emblematic of the increased levels of violence. He was returning home for lunch on 26 June when an improvised explosive device detonated near his car. His older brother carried him on his shoulders and took him to the nearest clinic. After receiving initial treatment, he was immediately transported to the EMERGENCY Surgical Centre in Kabul. Due to his injuries, his right leg had to be amputated.

“In the last 20 years there have been no incidents like this in my village, but in the last month three bombs exploded and five people died. Some of my friends fled with their families, others decided to stay in the village.” says J.

“The last meeting between Taliban and government delegations in Doha did not discuss an immediate ceasefire and our three hospitals are now working day and night as the number of patients is increasing throughout the country, especially in the Lashkar-Gah area where the situation is deteriorating considerably. After almost 30 years of uninterrupted war, the only desire of the Afghan people is to finally have some peace and they are terrified by the prospect of falling back into a new civil war. We therefore hope that the negotiations will be able to produce something meaningful in the coming weeks.”

Marco Puntin, Country Director for EMERGENCY in Afghanistan.

Listen to Marco’s Testimonial

has been present in Afghanistan since 1999 with two Surgical Centres for War Victims in Kabul and Lashkar-Gah, a Surgical & Paediatric Centre and a Maternity Centre in Anabah, Panjshir Valley, and a network of 44 First Aid Posts. In the first four months of 2021, EMERGENCY’s hospitals have already admitted 1853 war victims. This is a 202% increase compared to 2011, when the war had already been ongoing for 10 years.

Emergency UK

Stay in touch with EMERGENCY UK’s newsletter

FR Fundraising Badge
Back To Top

Stay in touch with EMERGENCY

Sign up to hear more from our projects, staff and patients around the world.