Rockets hit near Afghan presidential palace during Eid al-Adha prayers

Rocket-propelled grenades are fired at Afghanistan’s presidential palace during Eid prayers as Muslims around the world gather to observe Islamic holiday

  • Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, which marks the end of Hajj 
  • Morning prayers in at Kabul’s presidential palace, Afghanistan, were disturbed as rockets exploded nearby
  • Nobody was injured in the attack, which comes amid US withdrawal and as the Taliban retakes territory 
  • Celebrations were noticeably larger than Eid al-Fitr holiday earlier this year which came amid Covid lockdowns, but were still muted compared to pre-pandemic years

Rockets exploded near the presidential palace in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul during Eid prayers this morning as Muslims around the world gathered to mark the religious holiday. 

Video taken during the prayers captures the sound of incoming missiles and explosions as dozens of people bow their heads in prayer in a central courtyard.

Nobody was injured in the attack which has not yet been attributed to a group, though comes as the Taliban retake vast swathes of territory while the US withdraws.

Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice which coincides with the end of the Hajj pilgrimage, is typically marked with mass gatherings the world over and the sacrifice of animals with meat given to the needy.

Celebrations were noticeably larger than during the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan earlier this year – which came amid Covid lockdowns – but were muted compared to pre-pandemic years as governments asked worshippers to be considerate amid the spread of the Delta variant.

Muslims gather for Eid al-Adha prayers in Afghanistan’s presidential palace as the sound of rockets being fired at the compound is captured in the background

Most continued their prayers but one man could be seen panicking as the rocket-propelled grenades landed nearby, causing explosions though nobody was killed or injured

Muslims around the world are gathering to celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday today, which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage. Here, worshippers are pictured during morning prayers in Tirana, Albania

Thousands of Muslim worshippers are seen from the air during morning prayers in Tirana, Albania, to mark Eid al-Adha

Morning prayers take place at Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia’s deeply conservative province, on the morning of the Eid al-Adha holidays

Thousands of Palestinian worshippers take part in morning prayers at the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City

Muslims perform Eid al-Adha prayer at Jaber Al-Ahmad Stadium in Kuwait City, Kuwait

Prayers take place in Baghdad, Iraq, the morning after a suicide bomb attack killed at least 36 people at a market in the city

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar (fifth right) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (sixth right) attend Eid al-Adha prayers at the Hala Sultan Camii mosque in the northern part of Cyprus’ divided capital Nicosia

Muslims gather to perform the Eid Al Adha prayer at the Ar-Rahma Mosque in Kiev, Ukraine

Muslims offer prayers during the first day of Eid al-Adha outside the iconic Haghia Sophia mosque in the historic Sultan Ahmed district of Istanbul, Turkey

Israeli Arabs offer Eid al-Adha prayer at a mosque in the city of Rahat, Israel, on Tuesday morning

Muslims perform Eid al-Adha prayer at a mosque in Hargeisa, Somalia, on the Horn of Africa

The Hajj pilgrimage itself – an annual journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia that is compulsory for all Muslims who can afford it – was also drastically reduced in size due to the pandemic, with only 60,000 fully-vaccinated worshippers allowed to participate using tickets that were raffled. 

Indonesia today marked a grim Eid al-Adha amid a devastating new wave of coronavirus cases in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

Large gatherings were banned and tougher travel restrictions imposed.

Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, also an influential Islamic cleric, appealed to people to perform holiday prayers at home with their families.

‘Don’t do crowds,’ Mr Amin said in televised remarks ahead of the start of the holiday.

‘Protecting oneself from the Covid-19 pandemic is obligatory.’

The surge is believed to have been fuelled by travel during another holiday, the Eid al-Fitr festival in May, and by the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

In Malaysia, measures have been tightened after a sharp spike in infections despite a national lockdown since June 1, people are banned from travelling back to their hometowns or crossing districts to celebrate.

House visits and customary trips to graveyards are also banned.

Healthy worshippers are allowed to gather for prayers in mosques, with strict social distancing and no physical contact.

Ritual animal sacrifice is limited to mosques and other approved areas.

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah has urged Malaysians not to ‘repeat irresponsible behaviour’, adding that travel and celebrations during Eid al-Fitr and another festival on the island of Borneo led to new clusters of cases.

‘Let us not in the excitement of celebrating the Feast of Sacrifice cause us all to perish because of Covid-19,’ he said in a statement.

The country’s prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin urged Muslims to stay home.

‘I appeal to you all to be patient and abide by the rules because your sacrifice is a great jihad in Allah’s sight and in our effort to save lives,’ he said in a televised speech on the eve of the festival.

The World Health Organisation has reported that Covid-19 deaths had climbed after a period of decline.

The reversal has been attributed to low vaccination rates, relaxed mask rules and other precautions, and the Delta variant.

Lockdowns will severely curtail Eid al-Adha festivities in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s two largest cities.

Sydney resident Jihad Dib, a New South Wales state government lawmaker, said the city’s Muslims were sad but understood why they would be confined to their homes with no visitors allowed.

‘It’s going to be the first Eid in my life I don’t hug and kiss my mum and dad,’ Mr Dib told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Melbourne Muslims face their second Eid al-Adha in lockdown in as many years.

The sudden announcement of the Melbourne lockdown last week will also deal a huge financial blow to retailers who had stocked up on food ahead of what they thought would be usual Eid festivities.

Iran on Monday imposed a week-long lockdown on the capital, Tehran, and the surrounding region as the country struggles with another surge in the coronavirus pandemic, state media reported.

The lockdown begins on Tuesday.

Not everyone is imposing new restrictions.

In Bangladesh, authorities have allowed an eight-day pause in the country’s strict lockdown for the holiday that health experts say could be dangerous.

In Egypt, Essam Shaban travelled to his southern hometown of Sohag to spend Eid al-Adha with his family.

He said ahead of the start of the holiday that he planned to pray at a mosque there on Tuesday while taking precautions such as bringing his own prayer rug and wearing a mask.

‘We want this Eid to pass by peacefully without any infections,’ he said.

‘We must follow instructions.’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks with Turkish Cypriots President Ersin Tatar (right) after the Eid al-Adha prayers at the Hala Sultan Mosque in the Turkish-administered northern part of the divided capital Nicosia

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad takes part in Eid al-Adha prayers at Khaled bin al-Walid mosque in Homs

Palestinian Muslims attend the prayer of the first day of Eid al-Adha in Gaza City

Faithful attend prayers marking the Muslim festival of sacrifice Eid al-Adha, amid the Covid pandemic, in Nairobi, Kenya

Refugees offer Eid al-Adha prayers at a mosque in the Kazana Refugees camp on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan

Muslims gather to perform the Eid Al Adha prayer at the Ar-Rahma Mosque in Kiev, Ukraine

Muslims perform Eid al-Adha prayer in Bab district of Aleppo, Syria

Afghan security officers pray at the Eid Gah mosque on the first day of Eid Al-Adha holiday in Kabul, Afghanistan

Muslims visit graves of their relatives after performing Eid al-Adha prayer in Bab district of Aleppo, Syria

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