Twin Taliban blasts near Afghan parliament kill 30, wound dozens

Twin Taliban blasts near Afghan parliament kill 30, wound dozens

The blasts in Kabul tore through employees exiting a parliament annexe, which houses the offices of lawmakers.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Twin Taliban blasts struck near the Afghan parliament in Kabul on Tuesday, killing at least 24 people and wounding 80 in a rush-hour attack that shattered a relative lull in violence in the capital.

The bombings came just hours after a Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the volatile southern province of Helmand, as the militants ramp up attacks.

The blasts in Kabul tore through employees exiting a parliament annexe, which houses the offices of lawmakers, leaving the area littered with bloodied bodies.

“A suicide bomber on foot caused the first explosion, leaving a number of innocent workers killed and wounded,” said Zabi, an injured parliament security guard.

“The second one was a car bomb. The vehicle was parked on the other side of the road and flung me back when it detonated,” he said.

The blasts left 30 people dead and 80 wounded, some of them in serious condition, health ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh said, warning that the toll was expected to rise.

The carnage underscores growing insecurity in Afghanistan, where around 10,000 US troops are helping struggling Afghan forces to combat a resilient Taliban insurgency as well as al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorists.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said they were behind the Kabul explosions.

The parliament complex has been a prime target for insurgents. In June 2015, Taliban militants attacked the old parliament building, sending lawmakers running for cover in chaotic scenes relayed live on television.

The incident ended two hours later when all seven attackers, including a suicide car bomber, were gunned down by Afghan forces.

The Taliban are pressing ahead with nationwide attacks despite the onset of winter, when fighting usually ebbs, as international efforts to jump-start peace talks falter.

Repeated bids to launch peace negotiations with the Taliban have failed and a fierce new fighting season is expected to kick off in the spring.

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