Taliban attack Afghan parliament, seize second district in north

Smoke rises from the site of an attack near the Afghan parliament in Kabul, Afghanistan
REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

A Taliban suicide bomber and gunmen attacked the Afghan parliament on Monday, shattering windows, wounding at least 19 people and sending a plume of black smoke across Kabul, as a second district in two days fell to the Islamist group in the north.

Violence has spiralled in Afghanistan since the departure of most foreign forces at the end of last year as the insurgents push to take territory more than 13 years after the U.S.-led military intervention that toppled the Taliban from power.

A series of Taliban gains, and Monday’s attack on the symbolic centre of power, have raised questions about the NATO-trained Afghan security forces’ ability to cope.

Four women were among the 19 wounded, said Sayed Kabir Amiri, a health official who coordinates Kabul hospitals.

“A suicide bomber blew himself up just outside the parliament building and several fighters took positions in a building close to parliament,” said Ebadullah Karimi, spokesman for Kabul police.


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