Wed Dec 21, 2016 | 2:23pm EST
By Mirwais Harooni
Tha Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on the house of an Afghan member of parliament on Wednesday night that officials said killed at least five people and wounded a number of others.
A security official said one attacker blew himself up at the house of Mir Wali, a member of parliament from the volatile southern province of Helmand, killing three security guards and allowing two other gunmen to get into the compound, where a meeting was underway.
Mir Wali was wounded by shattered glass and other guests were also hurt in the attack, in which at least two civilians were killed.
Among the dead was Hafiz Barakzai, son of another prominent member of parliament, who was shot and killed while helping people to escape from the compound, his brother told Reuters.
The incident underlined the fragile security situation in Kabul, which has seen repeated attacks by suicide bombers and gunmen in recent months. Helmand, one of the strongholds of the Taliban and source of much of the world’s opium, has fallen increasingly under insurgent control over the past two years.
The main Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s incident. He said "an important military meeting" of officials from Helmand was underway when the attack took place.
Officials said police special forces were at the scene and were concentrating on evacuating people from the house and nearby areas.
The surviving gunmen were still believed to be inside the house, with local news station Tolo News quoting local residents as saying the sound of gunfire and explosions could be heard.
(Reporting by Mirwais Harooni; writing by James Mackenzie; editing by Ralph Boulton)