A Taliban suicide bomber and several gunmen attacked the Afghanistan parliament building. The attack shattered windows and forced the MPs to flee the building. Afghan security officials said all the politicians were safe. “A suicide bomber blew himself up just outside the parliament building and several fighters took positions in a building close to parliament,” Ebadullah Karimi, spokesman for Kabul police, told Reuters.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed, “We have launched an attack on parliament as there was an important gathering to introduce the country’s defence minister,” he said by phone. Taliban claimed the responsibility for the assault, the militant group said the parliament is “under siege by martyrdom-seeking mujahedeen” their description for suicide attackers.
In the attack 21 civilians are injured including 5 women and 3 children. The attackers detonated a huge car bomb outside the gates and stormed into the compound and then entered a building next to the chamber.
The spokesman for the interior ministry, Sediq Seddiqi, said “the gunmen had attempted to storm the parliament building, after the gates were breached by the suicide bomber. They were fought off and entered a building under construction next to the parliament. MPs were showered with broken glass and the chamber filled with smoke as the fighting went on. It took nearly an hour before all the firing stopped.”
Mohammad Arif Rahmani, an Afghan lawmaker, said the blast shook loose plaster inside the parliament building. The blast was followed by apparent explosions from rocket-propelled grenades.
Zaki Daryabi, the editor in chief of a local newspaper, said that the blast has shattered the windows of his office on the nearby Darulaman Road.
Saleha Sadat, a reporter who was inside the parliament when the blast occurred, said on local television that the lawmakers and journalists have been evacuated by the police. Local television and images shared on social media showed that the lawmakers inside the dust- and smoke-filled building
Dramatic footage that is aired on TV channels showed the MPs screaming after a blast went off, as the lower house was in session. The room is filled with smoke as security personnel began escorting the MPs out of the building. Footage on television showed a car on fire on the road outside the parliament compound.