Afghan police search house of parliament member after attack

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 22, 2016 1:46 AM

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan police and security officials combed through the wreckage of a member of parliament's house in Kabul on Thursday after an attack by Taliban gunmen in which at least seven people were killed.

Broken glass and spent bullet cartridges lay on the bloodstained ground of the heavily fortified house in the district of Khushal Khan belonging to Mir Wali, a member of parliament from the volatile southern province of Helmand.

Police special forces units sealed off the house following the attack on Wednesday night but gunfire and explosions could be heard for several hours.

"It was a really terrifying situation here in the night," said neighbor Matihullah, who like many Afghans goes by one name. "There were explosions and firing. It was really horrible and we couldn't sleep whole the night."

The Taliban said 20 people, including senior security officials from Helmand, had been killed in the attack but government officials put the death toll at seven. Two Taliban gunmen had also been killed, they said.

The attack underlined the fragile security situation in Kabul which has seen a series of kidnappings, suicide bombings and other insurgent attacks on targets connected to the Western-backed government.

The Taliban said the attack targeted a meeting of security officials who had been invited to discuss Helmand, a major opium-producing region which has fallen increasingly under insurgent control over the past two years.

(Reporting by Sayed Hassib and Hamid Shalizi, writing by James Mackenzie)