A Taliban suicide bomber and gunmen attacked the Afghan parliament today, 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 today's attack on the symbolic centre of power, have raised questions about the NATO-trained Afghan security forces' ability to cope.
Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi said all lawmakers were safe and that fighting was ongoing. TV pictures showed leglislators calmly leaving the building which was engulfed with dust and smoke. (Reuters)
The Afghan parliamentary chamber is full of smoke (Courtesy- BBC)