The Islamic State group on Monday claimed responsibility for the attack close to the Presidential palace during Afghanisthan President Ashraf Ghani's oath-ceremony. The Islamic State in its statement released via its social media channels post the attack announced, "Caliphate soldiers targeted the inauguration of the tyrant Ashraf Ghani." Reportedly, two people have been injured in the attack that took place during Ashraf Ghani's address and no casualties have been reported so far.
"It was not a blast - suicider blast or any other kind. Five rocket-firing occurred, which were fired from close to Kabul city. It hit the place which was 2-3 kilometres from the Presidential palace and no casualty at all," informed Ghani's former spokesperson - Najibullah Azad to Republic TV adding, "It happened quite at the end. There were a couple of thousand people. We all heard the sound and the ceremony continued according to the schedule."
Moreover, a video from the event shows Ghani touting that he was not wearing a bullet-proof vest saying, "I’m not wearing bulletproof clothes. I'm wearing ordinary clothes. This chest is ready to be sacrificed for Afghanistan and my people,” slamming the Taliban while continuing to address the event amid the rocket firing.
Ashraf Ghani has been sworn in for the second term as the President of Afghanistan following a months-long political crisis due to controversy over the election results. Ghani was trying to broker a deal with his rival Abdullah Abdullah who cried foul over the results and threatened to form a parallel government. Last month, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) declared incumbent Ghani as the winner of the presidential elections - with Ghani securing 50.64 per cent of the total votes polled, estimated as more than 1.8 million, and Abdullah got 39.52 per cent of the votes.
The Taliban has also denounced the results calling the election “fake and staged”. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson of the Taliban, said in a statement that it rejects the “meaningless appointment” and considers it a failed effort at “throwing dust” in the eyes of the nation. This development comes amid the break down of the peace accord signed by Taliban with the United States that laid out the conditions-based path to the full withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan over the course of 14 months.