Afghan Insurgents Fire on Peace Conference

Taliban militants launched a suicide attack on Afghanistan's national peace conference Wednesday as President Hamid Karzai interrupted his opening remarks to reassure nervous delegates hearing the thump of rockets and rattle of gunfire outside.

This was supposed to be the first step towards peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Sixteen hundred village elders, religious leaders and government officials gathered for what is known here as a Jirga, reports CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark.

But you can't make peace if you don't sit down with your enemies. The Taliban didn't attend.

Instead, they waited for the Afghan president to take the stage before firing a rocket, which landed very close to the Jirga tent.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged calm, but the attacks kept coming.

Insurgents hiding in a nearby mosque exchanged fire with police forces, who managed to kill two of the suicide bombers, before they reached their target.

The Afghan president was whisked out of the tent, but government officials vowed that the violence would not stop the discussions

The delegates are leaving for the day, the attacks didn't manage to stop the meeting but it highlighted its key weakness, the Taliban is still sending rockets not representatives to these talks.