SHAFAQNA Â -Â A Taliban suicide bomber struck the entrance to the Afghan parliament on Monday and gunmen tried to storm the heavily guarded compound, setting off a gunbattle with police that left two civilians dead as lawmakers were meeting inside to vote on the appointment of a new defence minister.
Afghan security forces managed to repel the attack, killing all seven gunmen and ensuring that no members of parliament were harmed. But the audacious assault came as the Taliban captured two districts in as many days in the countryâ€™s north, displaying their ability to operate on multiple fronts.
Interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the attack began with a car bomb explosion near the entrance to parliament. Gunmen then attempted to storm the compound but were pushed back by security forces and eventually corralled into a nearby building that was under construction.
Sediqqi later said all seven attackers were killed by police and that no members of parliament were harmed. â€œIt is over now,â€ he said. Sediqqi said a woman and a 10-year-old girl were killed. Health ministry spokesman Mohammad Ismail Kahousi said 31 civilians were wounded in the parliament attack, including two women and two children.
Sidiqa Mubarez, a member of parliament, said the building was rocked by the large explosion.