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New Rocket Attacks Hit Kabul - 2003-12-22

Four rockets hit the Afghan capital overnight as the country's convention to adopt a new constitution continues.

Afghan security officials in Kabul say the rockets were far from the assembly site, and no casualties were reported. They blame the attacks on remaining elements of the ousted Taleban regime. One report (AFP) says a Taleban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Security forces are already on high alert. Thousands of Afghan soldiers supported by international peacekeepers, U.S. troops and Afghan police are providing security for the traditional Afghan assembly, or Loya Jirga.

Meanwhile, Afghan officials say delegates at the country's constitutional convention have made good progress toward ratifying a final document later this week, despite disagreements over the proposed form of the country's government.

Officials say several of the 10 discussion groups have already finished reviewing the proposed constitution and will soon meet to work over their differences.

Some delegates have expressed unhappiness over the proposed draft that would give strong powers to the president. They have called for a larger role for parliament.

The "Loya Jirga" is a prelude to presidential elections expected next year. President Hamid Karzai supports the proposed constitutional draft, and has indicated he may not run again if the document is rejected.