Taliban militants in Afghanistan say they are responsible for attacking the house of a member of parliament in Kabul, killing at least five people.
The attack took place in the compound of the Helmand MP, Mir Wali. He is believed to have survived but two of his grandchildren are reported to have been killed. Security forces at the scene say the gunmen are now holding hostages. Security in Kabul has deteriorated significantly throughout 2016. The Taliban in a statement said their suicide bombers raided the house to disrupt an “important gathering of security officials”. Sporadic gunfire and explosions were heard from the house as Afghan forces cordoned off the property after launching a clearance operation.
Security officials were tight-lipped about the attack, which underscores the worsening security situation in Afghanistan. The Taliban are escalating their 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.