Parliament attack: Afghan lawmakers hail security, blame Pakistan

Kabul : The Afghan parliament on Tuesday praised the security forces for their efforts in foiling Monday’s Taliban suicide attack on the parliament complex here, while some members accused Pakistan of being involved in the dastardly assault, media reported.

At least seven militants on Monday attacked Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament). One militant detonated a car bomb at the gate while others tried to storm the building. However, alert security forces managed to prevent them from entering.

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Five people were killed and 31 others were injured in the brazen attack. All the Afghan lawmakers inside the parliament complex escaped unhurt in the assault.

Despite damage to the parliament building, lawmakers returned on Tuesday to the national assembly for a special sitting to discuss Monday’s attack, TOLONews reported.

The parliamentarians praised the security forces’ efforts, but a few members criticised the government over its meetings last month with Pakistani security and intelligence officials.

“Pakistanis are killing our sons every day but we remain silent. Government officials should give us details about what they discussed at these recent meetings,” parliamentarian Daoud Kalakani said.

Another member, Almas Zahid, said Monday’s “attack was organised very well and they knew from which side to attack”, adding that “our security forces are committed to fighting off the attackers. But security officials should be asked how they (Taliban militants) attacked the House of the People”.

A number of lawmakers also accused certain government officials of being behind the recent upsurge in Taliban insurgency in the northern parts of the country where marauding Taliban elements have made signal advances in the northern Kanduz province.

They accused these officials of plotting the insurgency claiming it was a “project” of theirs.

Monday’s attack took place at about 10.20 a.m. — minutes before second vice president Mohammad Sarwar Danish was to introduce minister of defence nominee Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai to the lawmakers for a vote of confidence.