Afghan police say gunmen have stormed the home of a lawmaker in the capital, killing eight people and leaving the parliamentarian wounded after he jumped from the roof to escape.
The Taliban claimed the attack, which began late Wednesday, saying they targeted a meeting of military officials.
Police officer Sadiq Muradi says the gunmen attacked the house of Mir Wali, a lawmaker from the restive southern Helmand province. They battled his guards for several hours, eventually killing eight people, including two of his grandsons, friends and members of his security detail. Three attackers were killed.
The Taliban in a statement said their suicide bombers raided the house to disrupt an “important gathering of officials” to address the deteriorating security situation in the lawmaker’s southern opium-rich province.
“President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemns the attack on the residence of Helmand MP Mir Wali, which killed two members of his family, a number of his bodyguards and the son of another MP from Uruzgan, Obaidullah Barakzai,” the presidential palace said in a statement.
“President Ghani termed the attack as an unforgivable crime. Attacking the residence of national personalities cannot be justified in any religion and is against Islamic values.”
In all eight civilians and officials were killed, said Fraidoon Obaidi, chief of Kabul police’s Criminal Investigation Department. Mir Wali was hospitalised after he jumped from his roof to escape the attack, he added.
Sporadic gunfire and explosions were heard from the house early Thursday as Afghan forces cordoned off the property to launch a clearance operation.
“The coordinated attack was carried out by three suicide bombers. They were gunned down by Afghan forces,” Obaidi told reporters.
The brazen attack underscores the worsening security situation in Afghanistan and highlights how the Taliban are stepping up targeted attacks on high-level officials.
The militants are escalating their nationwide insurgency despite the onset of winter, when fighting usually ebbs, even as international efforts intensify to restart stalled peace talks.
Fifteen years and hundreds of billions of dollars since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the security situation in the country remains fraught and Afghan forces are struggling to contain the conflict.