KABUL: The Taliban attacked the Afghan parliament on Monday, setting off at least one large bomb and igniting a gunbattle with security forces, police.
As per the Associated Press reporter said, “A Taliban suicide bomber and several gunmen attacked the Afghan parliament, shattering windows and forcing lawmakers to flee, as a second district in two days fell to the Islamist group in the north”. After that heavy gunfire outside the parliament and saw black smoke billowing from the entrance as ambulances raced to the scene, witness said.
Police officer Mohammad Asif said, “There were four large explosions bombs set by the Taliban attackers”.
Interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said, “There was one explosion”, and the Taliban in a statement said, “They had carried out a suicide bombing”. It was unclear if the other explosions were caused by bombs or grenades.
The high violence conditions has spiraled in Afghanistan since the departure of most foreign armed forces at the end of last year and the fall of the second district raises questions about the NATO-trained Afghan security forces’ ability to fight the Taliban.
Insurgents are pushing to take territory more than last thirteen years after the United States led military armed forces intervention that toppled the Taliban from power.
“A suicide bomber blew himself up just outside the Afghan parliament building and several fighters took positions in a building close to parliament,” said Ebadullah Karimi, spokesman for Kabul police.
Afghan security officials said all lawmakers were safe.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility of the attack.
“We have launched an attack on parliament as there was an important gathering to introduce the country’s defense minister,” he said by phone.
The withdrawal of foreign military forces and a reduction in United States air strikes have allowed Taliban fighters to launch several major attacks in important Afghan provinces.
The Taliban captured Dasht-e-Archi district a day after hundreds of militants fought their way to the center of the adjacent district of Chardara.
Nasruddin Saeedi, the district governor who escaped to the provincial capital, Kunduz city, told Reuters by telephone that, “The Taliban managed to take it over this morning as the area has been surrounded for days”.
“They are many foreign fighters with heavy machine guns. We have asked for reinforcements, but none arrived”.
The fall of the second district within a day underlines questions about Afghan forces’ ability to quell the Taliban.
By one another local officials report, “Afghan soldiers were preparing a counterattack to retake both districts”.
Monday’s heavy fighting was just three km (two miles) from the governor’s compound.