SLUG: 2-288412 Afghanistan / Attack (L)
TITLE=AFGHANISTAN / ATTACK (L-ONLY)
INTRO: In Afghanistan, an early (Sunday) morning rocket attack on a compound housing international peacekeeping troops and staff is heightening fears of more instability in the Afghan capital. V-O-A's Alisha Ryu has details from Kabul.
TEXT: Spokesmen for the International Security Assistance Force, known as
ISAF, says one of its compounds in the east of the city was nearly hit by
one of two missiles launched toward the building early Sunday morning.
There have been no reports of injuries.
The missile, described as a Chinese-made 107 millimeter rocket, landed
several meters outside of the compound walls where it exploded. The second
missile sailed over the building and has not yet been located.
Peacekeepers believe this attack is different than previous attacks that have
targeted ISAF soldiers. For the past three months, gunmen have
periodically fired on troops on patrol in various parts of the city. But
ISAF spokesman, Neal Peckham, says Sunday's attack was the second time
someone has targeted an ISAF compound with missiles.
The first such attack occurred a month ago at the Kabul airport where some
of the 48-hundred multi-national soldiers are based. The rocket misfired
and no one was hurt in the incident.
/// PECKHAM ACT ///
The weapons system is exactly the same as it was used then. It is a
feeling at the moment that this is not, in the wider sense, an al-Qaida-type
of attack against coalition forces but probably something to do with the
arrests that have taken place in the last few days and the feeling that it
is probably an attempt to cause some disruption prior to the loya jirga.
/// END ACT ///
On Thursday, police in Kabul arrested 300 people in connection with an
alleged plot to overthrow the government of interim Prime Minister Hamid
Karzai and to disrupt the political gathering called a loya jirga planned for
June to select a new Afghan government. One hundred 60 people remain in
custody suspected of being members of a hardline Islamic group opposed to
the current government.
The U-N mandated ISAF made up mainly of NATO nations and led by Britain -
has been deployed in Kabul since January 3rd to enhance security for the
war-torn city. (Signed)
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