More than 100 killed in Kabul attack

KABUL - At least 100 people were killed here in the worst bombardment in two months as fighting at the weekend shattered a government plan agreed a week ago to bring peace to Afghanistan.

Hospitals were filled to capacity less than 24 hours after rockets rained on the city, while shopkeepers in market areas hit by rockets asked Allah to punish those responsible for the attack as they dug through rubble.

'See those things,' said a shopkeeper in the rocketed Pooli Baghemume area, pointing to blood- splattered debris. 'Those are human remains.'

Heavy artillery fire was exchanged for several hours on Saturday between militias inside the city aligned with the government and forces of the Hizbe Islami party led by the radical Pathan leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar massed in the Charasiab district nine miles south of Kabul.

Rockets hit homes, markets and guest houses in heavily populated Kabul. A rocket also hit the US embassy, destroying an administrative office and narrowly missing a caretaker.

The United States pulled out of Kabul in February 1989. The embassy is closed, and Afghans take care of its upkeep. Doctors said that more than 10 hospitals in Kabul were filled to capacity with wounded and they were sending home some people who normally would have been admitted as in- patients after dressing their wounds. 'We don't have stretchers, we don't have beds. This is a tragedy,' said Nasser Foshangy, a doctor at Wazir Akbar Khan hospital. Kabul has been without electricity or water since midday on Saturday.

No side was claiming responsibility for starting the rocket attack, the first since early May. It is threatening to kill off the attempts by the new government, led by Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former Islamic professor sworn in on 28 June, to bring peace.

An official close to the Defence Minister, Ahmed Shah Masood, said, however, that the ministry was sure the rocketing had been started by the Hizbe Islami. He said one reason why the Hizbe may have started the attack was that the government was refusing the party's plan to bring its guerrillas into Kabul yesterday, when Hizbe's commander Abdul Sabbur Fareed was supposed to arrive to become prime minister in the new government. Mr Fareed's arrival has been postponed because of the attack, and he may now come today, the Hizbe said. 'One hundred people were killed that we know of,' the official said.

Another reason for the attack may have been a clean-out operation which began last week and which aims to remove armed rebels who have roamed streets and occupied buildings since the collapse of the Communist government on 28 April, the official added. The Hizbe is not taking part in the clean-out operation. Hizbe officials yesterday denied that their side had started the firing, and said that when they began to respond they had hit only military targets.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
people70-year-old was most famous for 'You are So Beautiful'
News
people
Life and Style
fashionOne man takes the hipster trend to the next level
News
John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

The Jenrick Group: Project Manager

£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'