April 27th, 2008 03:31 EST
Taliban claims responsibility for attack in Kabul
Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other dignitaries have survived a Taliban attack on a ceremony in Kabul.
Defense Ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi says Mr. Karzai as well as scores of Cabinet members and foreign diplomats were evacuated Sunday after automatic gunfire broke out.
Government and military hospital officials said at least nine people, including two lawmakers, were wounded in the attack.
The gunfire erupted after Mr. Karzai and other dignitaries had taken the stage following an inspection of troops.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, saying his fighters had fired rockets and automatic weapons at the dais where the dignitaries were seated. The spokesman said three Taliban fighters were killed.
President Karzai appeared on national television soon after the incident saying authorities have arrested several suspects.
Afghan state television abruptly cut its live transmission of the high-profile ceremony, marking the 16th anniversary of the fall of the communist government in Afghanistan to the mujahedin and the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the country.Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.