Peace "jirga" in Afghanistan attacked (UPDATE)
Editor's note: Details were added in the article
Two explosions followed by gunfire erupted Wednesday outside a peace assembly attended by hundreds of elders and lawmakers in Afghanistan, shortly after President Hamid Karzai opened it, DPA reported.
Helicopters were hovering over the area in Kabul as the sounds of small-arms fire continued to be heard.
The explosions occurred about 500 metres east of the jirga's meeting site in the capital, while gunfire was heard to the west.
Karzai was giving his inaugural speech at the so-called peace jirga when the explosions took place. He was not hurt and continued speaking.
He called on Taliban fighters who have left Afghanistan because of military offensives to return home, vowing that his government would reintegrate them into civilian life.
But added that he would never be able to forgive militants who carried out attacks on civilians.
Karzai finished his speech and then his motorcade was seen leaving the jirga site.
Around 1,600 tribal elders, members of parliament and province councils and religious leaders are attending the three-day jirga in Kabul to discuss ways to reconcile with the Taliban.
Extra security precautions were put in place for the peace jirga including thousands of members of the security forces to deter attacks.
The Taliban are boycotting the jirga, which they said was aimed at safeguarding the interests of the US and other NATO members. The assembly is scheduled to end on Friday.