Taliban attack Afghan parliament building
Six Taliban terrorists attacked the parliament building in Kabul with bombs and RPGs, but they failed to get in, and all lawmakers were evacuated unhurt. But 21 civilians outside the building were injured while security forces killed all 6 terrorists.
A large car bomb exploded near the outer wall of the parliament compound, sending a thick plume of smoke into the sky. Six Taliban fighters then tried to storm inside, said police spokesman Ebadullah Karimi.
Afghan security forces managed to fend off the attackers, who then moved into a nearby building, firing rockets and AK-47 machine guns. All six attackers were killed in the ensuing firefight, Karimi said.
Inside the parliament building, lawmakers were gathered in a meeting hall when the first explosion struck, Arif Rahmani, a member of parliament, told CNN.
The blast shattered glass and shook loose a thin layer of the ceiling that filled the hall with a cloud of dust, he said.
The members of parliament had assembled for a general meeting at which Mohammad Masoom Stanikzai, the government's nominee for defense minister, was to be introduced in order to present his plans and policies ahead of a confidence vote.
All the lawmakers were evacuated from the parliament building unharmed, Karimi said.
But at least 31 civilians were wounded in the attack, including three children, said Dr. Kabir Amiri, head of Kabul Central Hospitals.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on his Twitter account that the militant group chose to target the parliament on the day the defense minister was to be introduced to lawmakers.
The U.N. mission in Afghanistan condemned the attack, calling it "a clear and deliberate affront to democracy in Afghanistan."
The entire Afghan government is an "affront to democracy," but that's another blog.
The Taliban attacks are getting bolder, and they are taking more territory the closer we get to the complete withdrawal of American combat troops. Gee, who woulda thunk it? We announce to the world the date certain we are leaving, and the Taliban increases the pressure on Afghan security forces. No one could have possibly foreseen that, right?
The fact is, we can't get out soon enough to suit Obama. He's all about ending wars, not winning them. As predicted, the Afghanistan security forces – the police and army – are not up to the task of defeating the Taliban. This means you can probably predict the survival time of the Afghan government after we leave as a matter of months.