A woman and a 10-year-old child were killed and more than 30 civilians were injured as a result of a Taliban attack on the Afghan #Parliament, in Kabul, on Monday. A suicide car bomb was detonated outside the parliament gates and six gunmen tried to storm the building. After finding heavy police resistance, the rebels occupied an abandoned building right next to the parliament chambers and started firing RPGs and machine guns, while police evacuated the Afghan MPs. The interior minister, Sediq Seddiqi, revealed that all six gunmen have been killed by the police.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack that occurred when the MPs and many high-level officials were gathered to vote on the nomination of the new defense minister Mohammad Massom Stanekzai. Footage from inside the parliament shows the MPs running for safety while the glass on the windows was shattered by the explosion and the room was being filled with dust. The Afghan parliament's speaker, Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, is being seen as somewhat of a 'hero' for calmly trying to continue his speech during the chaos and asking the MPs to remain calm before having to be escorted out of the chambers.
The attack has already been condemned by the prime-ministers of India and Pakistan, the U.S. embassy, Britain's foreign office minister for Afghanistan, Tobias Elwood, and the United Nations' representative for the area, Tadamichi Yamamoto, who issued a statement calling the attack "a clear and deliberate affront to democracy".
Although Taliban leaders have been meeting informally with government representatives, in Qatar, to try to initiate peace talks, the violence on the ground has recently intensified with the Taliban making substantial territorial gains in the north and south-west of Afghanistan. The violence has also spread to the capital, Kabul, especially since the NATO and US troops left, last year, with this new attack on the Afghan parliament, today, following two other high-profile incidents, in May, where two guesthouses were attacked by Taliban gunmen who killed a total of fourteen civilians. #Security #Terrorism