Naqibullah Faiq/REUTERS
Members of parliament are evacuated after an attack on the Afghan parliament building in Kabul, Afghanistan June 22, 2015.

Afghan forces repel daring Taliban attack on Kabul parliament

The coordinated Taliban assault in the heart of Kabul didn't achieve its objective – killing Afghan lawmakers – but was a reminder that the group remains potent.

Seven Taliban militants attacked the Afghan parliament in Kabul on Monday while it was in session, in one of the most daring attacks by the insurgent group in recent years.

The attack started when a car with explosives blew up outside the parliament gates, having passed through a number of security checkpoints, Reuters reported, citing a Kabul police spokesman. Six gunmen then opened fire in a building opposite the parliament, a gun battle that lasted up to two hours.

Members of parliament were seen being evacuated on television. None were hurt, though nineteen people were injured. All seven attackers were killed.

"It shows a big failure in the intelligence and security departments of the government," said Farhad Sediqi, a lawmaker, told Reuters.

The attack comes after the US military ended major combat operations in Afghanistan in December, adding to worries about the Afghan Army's ability to contain the Taliban.

The attack occurred as lawmakers gathered to vote up or down on Masood Staneksai as Afghanistan's new defense minister. Mr. Stanekzai is said to have been in the tightly-secured building during the assault. The country has been without a confirmed defense minister for nearly 10 months; President Ashraf Ghani’s previous two candidates were rejected by the parliament.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, with spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeting: "Several mujahideen have entered the parliament building, heavy fighting is on-going."

Taliban attacks have surged in the last two months. Fighting is particularly fierce in the northern Kunduz province, where Archi district fell to the Taliban today, the second district to fall in the last two days.

The resilience of the Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, continues after more than a decade of war waged by US and its NATO allies in the country. With the Afghan Army and police now fighting more-or-less alone, there are doubts about what comes next. The Christian Science Monitor wrote last year:

Throughout the Afghan war, the US conducted capture-kill operations, missions designed to target key militant leaders. Such operations were most commonly used under US Army Gen. David Petraeus from 2010-2011. A report by the independent Afghanistan Analysts Network that analyzed press releases by the International Security Assistance Forces from Dec. 1, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2011 found that ISAF reported operations that killed 3,873 individuals and detained 7,146. Among those, 174 described as leaders were killed and 501 were detained.


Yet Taliban insurgents appeared largely unaffected. Some say their gains speak more to the drawdown of international troops than to growing Taliban strength. But others worry that even when there is a window to rein in Taliban influence, especially through local efforts, there is not enough support from Afghan security forces to sustain the effort.

The US Embassy in Kabul condemned Monday's attack, as did the the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Afghan forces repel daring Taliban attack on Kabul parliament
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today