Rocket strike near hotel in Afghan capital injures four

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Afghan officials have said that a rocket apparently fired at a luxury hotel in Kabul injured four people today, despite falling short of its target.

An Interior Ministry spokesman, Zamary Bashary, told the Voice of America news agency the rocket exploded on a road between a hospital and the Serena Hotel, which is in the center of the capital, near the presidential palace, government ministries and embassies. The incident happened at about 18.15 local time (13.45 UTC).

“It was a rocket that hit in front of the Rabia Balkhi hospital. We have four wounded, three are civilians and one is a police officer,” said Zamarai Bashary, a spokesman for the interior ministry, as quoted by the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Taliban militants fired rockets at the same hotel last month, which is heavily guarded. No one was injured in that attack, which came on the same day that a suicide-bomb explosion killed five UN staff members and two Afghans at their quarters in another part of Kabul.

Taliban militants also attacked the Serena Hotel in January 2008, in a commando-style assault that killed at least eight people.

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