Political chaos reigned in Afghanistan Monday as dueling presidential swearing-in ceremonies took place in Kabul.
Incumbent Afghan President Ashraf Ghani took the oath of office for a second term while Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, citing fraud, proclaimed himself Afghanistan's president at a rival inauguration event.
Although Ghani and Abdullah both claimed to have won September's presidential elections, Ghani last month was officially proclaimed the victor. Unlike U.S. and NATO forces commander Gen. Scott Miller, who attended Ghani's swearing-in along with U.S. Charge d'Affaires Ross Wilson and U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, Abdullah has refused to recognize that outcome.
Several loud explosions outside the presidential palace compound briefly disrupted Ghani's inaugural address.
"Everyone is safe, no one hurt, including President Ghani," tweeted presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi, adding, "He had no bulletproof vest today, mortars landed during his speech, but he didn't move an inch, he stood solid."