Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2016 - Updated about 17 hours ago
KABUL: Taliban insurgents fired a barrage of rockets at Afghanistan’s newly built parliament complex in Kabul on Monday, as top security officials including the intelligence chief prepared to address the assembly.
Multiple rockets smashed into the sprawling compound, blowing out windows in one building. But no one was reported hurt and the parliament session continued uninterrupted.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid saying the rockets inflicted heavy casualties. The militant group is known to exaggerate battlefield claims.
“While we discuss insecurity around the country, it is worrying that the enemy is able to strike the parliament in the heart of the capital,” lawmaker Mohammad Abdou said during the session broadcast live on TV.
Taj Mohammad Jahed, the caretaker minister of interior who was due to address parliament along with the intelligence chief on the worsening security in Afghanistan, was apologetic.
“This should not have happened,” Jahed said. “I will order new security measures for the parliament complex.” The swanky complex, built by India at an estimated cost of $90 million, was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December. Last June Taliban militants attacked the old parliament building, sending lawmakers running for cover in chaotic scenes relayed live on television.