22 Jun 2015

Taliban attack Afghanistan's parliament

9:28 pm on 22 June 2015

A co-ordinated Taliban attack on the Afghan parliament in Kabul has ended with all six gunmen killed, the interior ministry says.

Smoke and flames rise from burning vehicles at the site of the attack in front of the Afghan Parliament in Kabul on 22 June 2015.

Smoke and flames rise from burning vehicles at the site of the attack in front of the parliament building in Kabul. Photo: AFP

Attackers detonated a huge car bomb outside the gates, stormed the compound, then entered a building next to the chamber.

Police evacuated the premises, while trying to fight the gunmen off.

The Taliban said they carried out the attack to coincide with a vote to endorse the country's new defence minister, Massoom Stanekzai.

The spokesman for the interior ministry, Sediq Seddiqi, said the gunmen had attempted to storm the parliament building itself after the gates were breached by the suicide bomb.

They were fought off and entered a building under construction next to the parliament building. MPs were showered with broken glass, and the chamber filled with smoke as the fighting went on. It took nearly an hour before all the firing stopped.

At least 18 people are reported to have been wounded. Mr Seddiqi said no MP had been injured.

Pictures on social media showed the parliament building full of smoke and people running for cover.

Television was broadcasting live from the building when the attackers struck. MPs were seen fleeing the building.

Local media also reported another explosion in a different area of Kabul.

The Taliban have launched complex attacks on government buildings in the capital in the past.

They have made substantial gains recently in Helmand in the south-west, and have been advancing across the north of the country, capturing two districts of the Kunduz province in recent days.

Militant violence has increased across the country since the departure of most US and NATO forces last year.