In a statement, the United States condemned the recent rocket attacks near the presidential palace in Afghanistan's Kabul. US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said Afghans have been suffering from "senseless violence" for far too long. "We condemn the rocket attacks on Kabul that occurred today. We continue to call for an accelerated path to a political settlement and an end to the violence," Price said. "What we have been consistent in saying is the people of Afghanistan are united in their desire for a just and for a lasting peace, and that is what the diplomacy we are supporting and much of the international community is supporting is geared to effect."
At least three rockets hit near the presidential palace on Tuesday shortly before Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was to give an address to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. The attack comes at a time when the Taliban has been gaining massive ground and winning territories in the nation. There were no injuries and the rockets landed outside the heavily fortified palace grounds. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, but police quickly fanned out across the area. The palace is in the middle of a so-called Green Zone that is fortified with giant cement blast walls and barbed wire, and streets near the palace have long been closed off.