Militants target Parliament; police say 8 attackers were killed

Taliban militants unleashed a wave of coordinated attacks in Afghanistan on Sunday targeting Parliament and three other eastern cities.

At least eight attackers died in a wave of attacks in Kabul, police said as fighting continued to rage in parts of the city.

Five civilians and more than a dozen Afghan security personnel, including the head of the Kabul's quick reaction police force, were wounded, security officials told AFP.

Armed with machineguns, rockets and suicide vests, an unknown number of Taliban rebels struck at key locations in Kabul, prompting a stand-off with security forces.

One of the three areas attacked — the Jalalabad road east of the city where there are several foreign military bases — has been cleared and four rebels were killed, Kabul police chief Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said.

Four other attackers — three near the Wazir Akbar Khan diplomatic enclave and one near Parliament — were killed, the police added.

Afghan military spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi confirmed the killings on the Jalabad road but said four had died. A fifth was captured, he said, adding Afghan Army commandos supported the police in the operation.

The commandos also helped the police in the Logar province, killing three attackers, General Azimi said. He said fighting in a second location in the province was still on.

In Kabul, General Ahmad Fahim Qayem, commander of quick reaction force, and 10 police personnel were wounded when they were attacked by militants near Parliament, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

The police chief said five civilians and an unknown number of the security personnel were also wounded in the attacks.

The Taliban, the main insurgent group behind the 10-year-old insurgency, claimed the attacks, saying they were the start of their annual “spring offensive.”

Rebels simultaneously attacked government buildings in three eastern towns in the Logar, Nangarhar and Paktya provinces.

In a text message to reporters, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said: “Today, afternoon, at 1 p.m., suicide bombings are happening by our Mujahidin at the ISAF headquarters, Parliament building, and other diplomatic offices in Kabul, and our enemies got many casualties.”

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