KABUL, June 22 � Two persons, including a child, died when Taliban militants launched an assault on the Afghan Parliament today, triggering gunfire and explosions and sending lawmakers scurrying for cover in chaotic scenes relayed live on television, reports PTI.
The attack came as the Afghan President�s nominee for the crucial post of defence minister was to be introduced in Parliament, and ended two hours later when all seven attackers, including a suicide car bomber, were dead.
The assault on such a high-profile target in downtown Kabul raises fresh questions about security as Afghan forces battle a resurgent Taliban for the first time without the aid of NATO forces, who ended their combat mission in December.
�First a car bomb detonated on the main road near the Parliament building, then a group of attackers entered a building in front of Parliament,� Kabul Police spokesman Ebadullah Karimi told AFP.
Two civilians, a woman and a child, were killed in the attack, according to police and the United Nations.
Deputy interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said there were seven attackers and the health ministry reported 31 people, including five women and a child, wounded.
Dramatic television footage of the moment the first explosion struck showed pandemonium and screams inside parliament, with Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi sitting in his chair, calmly telling lawmakers �it�s an electrical issue�.