Explosion rattles hotel as Afghan talks near


A powerful rocket exploded near one of Kabul’s few upscale hotels, knocking guests from restaurant chairs and shattering windows across the lobby and in many guest rooms. No injuries were reported.

Explosion rattles hotel as Afghan talks near

No immediate claim of responsibility was made, but the attack raised concerns about security in Kabul, where rocket and mortar attacks have been rare since the fall of the Taliban regime two years ago.

Security is an increasing concern before next month’s loya jirga, or grand council, where the new constitution is to be ratified. About 500 delegates are to participate in the meeting, which is to be held near the hotel and is considered a key step in Afghanistan’s recovery from a quarter-century of war.

Police and soldiers from the 5,000-strong NATO-led peace force rushed to the Intercontinental Hotel after the blast and guarded its front door as some guests quickly checked out, fearing another attack.

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