Afghanistan marks 99th anniversary of independence

Kabul: Afghanistan on Sunday marked the 99th anniversary of its independence from British occupation amid deteriorating security situation.

President Ashraf Ghani laid a wreath at the Independence Minaret during an official celebration held inside the Defence Ministry compound after inspecting guards of honour here, reports Xinhua news agency.

Ghani paid tribute to security forces who have sacrificed their lives for stabilising peace as the country, especially Kabul, has witnessed waves of terror attacks by the Islamic State (IS) terror outfit and Taliban insurgents over the past few months.

Official ceremonies will take place in various parts of the country and thousands of families and friends will spend the day together to mark the event.

In addition, a new flag, the biggest in the country, was hoisted on Wazir Akbar Khan hill in Kabul on Sunday morning.

Although Afghanistan was never part of the British empire, it gained its independence after the signing of the Anglo-Afghan Treaty in 1919 – a treaty that granted complete neutral relations between Afghanistan and Britain.