Blast rocks Kabul not far from Secretary Hagel’s briefing

Posted at 11:05 PM, Mar 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-09 01:05:30-05

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — An explosion rocked Kabul Saturday during a press briefing in Afghanistan at the same time that newly appointed U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is in the country, officials said.

Hagel was not at the press briefing and was not injured. Those attending the briefing were moved to a safer location.

No one at the briefing was hurt in the blast.

A loud speaker announcement at Camp Eggers informed the attendees: “We are not directly under attack at this facility.”

And it assured the group that Hagel, who was unharmed and in a safe place.

Three eyewitnesses told CNN there was an explosion near the Afghan defense ministry, which is less than a mile from the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

The sound of other explosions could be heard a short time before the blast closer to Camp Eggers, which is under lock down. No one is currently allowed to enter or exit the base. The large blast shook the facility.

There was still small arms fire at the ministry, ISAF said.

From Chris Lawrence, CNN.
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