Afghan Taliban fire rockets at parliament building in Kabul

Afghan media says rockets partially damaged parliament building but inflicted no casualties

Tahir Khan March 28, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Afghan Taliban on Monday fired rockets at the newly-built building in Kabul as the country's top intelligence official and caretaker minister of interior prepared to address the assembly.

“The Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate fired many rockets at the parliament building of the Kabul administration and a nearby key check post of the puppet soldiers at Darul Aman area,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said.

Mujahid claimed the rockets “hit the target that caused human and property losses.”  He further said the “parliament meeting was going-on when the rockets landed there”.

However, no casualties have been reported so far.

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Meanwhile, Afghan media reported three rockets hit the new Afghan parliament building and that the session was ongoing despite the attack.

Tolo TV reported rockets were fired while security officials were entering building to brief members of the parliament over security challenges.

Pajhwok news agency said one of the rockets hit a sub-building of the parliament.  The first rocket caused damage to the building but inflicted no casualties.

Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry spokesperson Seddiq Seddiqi confirmed the rocket strikes, saying there was no information about casualties. He added police were investigating the incident.

The attack would be a matter of concern for the Afghan security establishment as the Taliban rockets could reach to sensitive locations in the capital city. Afghan government could face security challenges in the coming weeks if the Taliban launch their Spring Offensive.

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In June last year, Taliban militants had attacked the Afghan parliament, with gunfire and a huge explosion rocking the building, sending lawmakers running for cover in chaotic scenes relayed live on television.

The militants had swiftly claimed responsibility for the attack which came as the Afghan president’s nominee for the crucial post of defence minister was to be introduced in parliament.

Afghan authorities have repeatedly tried to jumpstart talks with the Taliban in the hope of ending the 13-year conflict, but the militants have set tough conditions, including the withdrawal of all foreign troops in Afghanistan.

President Ashraf Ghani’s government has drawn criticism for failing to end growing insurgent attacks.


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