Militants in Kabul have staged a brazen attack on the presidential palace where Afghan leader Hamid Karzai was due to hold a press conference. Police say 4 gunmen were killed in a 90 minute shoot-out.
The Afghan government refused to join a Moscow-hosted peace conference attended by a Taliban delegation. Observers say the absence of officials from Kabul unnecessarily delays the peace process in a 17-year-long war.
The rocket attack in Kabul came days after President Ashraf Ghani offered the Taliban a reciprocal ceasefire to mark the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday. The "Islamic State" claimed credit for the assault.
Afghanistan's first parliamentary election since 2010 has been hit by violence and chaos, with several attacks killing at least 36 people. Authorities faced outrage over poor organization and technical glitches.
Technical issues persisted on the second day of the violence-marred parliamentary elections. Around 3 million Afghans voted defying calls from the Taliban militant group to boycott the ballot.
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