Deadly Rocket Attack in Kabul Killed 17

AP, December 13, 1998

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A barrage of rockets shook Kabul on Sunday, killing at least 17 people and wounding 80 others, witnesses and officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the Afghan capital in months.

No one took responsibility for the attack, but the rockets all came from north of the city where forces loyal to ousted military chief Ahmed Shah Massood are based.

A Taliban-run Radio Shariat broadcast said 21 people were killed in the attack Sunday, and the discrepancy in the death toll was not immediately explained.

The worst barrage shattered a northern Kabul neighborhood, with one rocket slamming down just in front of a crowded bus. Taxi drivers and soldiers grabbed the seriously wounded and rushed them to hospitals as dozens of others lay bleeding and pleading for help.

"We don't know how many more Afghans will be killed by Afghans ... for how many years can this war drag on?'' said Ghulam Sakhi, a shopkeeper who was hiding in a basement with about a dozen others.

The first attack of the day occurred at dawn, killing a 15 year-old-boy and wounding his father.

An assault in the early afternoon hit a residential area near the combined military and civilian airport. A child was killed and 11 people were injured when rockets rained down on their homes.

At area hospitals, doctors and nurses struggled to treat the wounded with only a small amount of medicine. Some hospitals lacked anesthetic, and painkilling drugs had to be bought from markets.

Dozens killed as Afghan opposition launches new offensive

AFP, 13 Dec 1998

KABUL, Dec 13 (AFP) - Dozens of fighters and civilians were killed Sunday as Afghan opposition forces launched a new offensive across three front lines and pounded Kabul with light rockets.

Combined reports from the opposition, residents and aid workers said at least 33 civilians were killed and 50 wounded and hundreds forced to flee their homes.

Another 42 Taliban militia troops died in the fighting and 162 were captured by the opposition.

The latest offensive was timed to take advantage of the last days of fine weather as the Taliban and forces loyal to opposition commander Ahmad Shah Masood continued attempts to secure northern supply routes ahead of winter.

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