Twin bombing in Kabul leaves 26 dead; Taliban claims responsibility
At least 26 people - including four policemen - are dead and 43 others wounded after two suicide bombers targeted the Afghan parliament on Tuesday, officials said.
"The first suicide bomber, a walk-in, blew himself up at the gate of the parliament building," Sediq Sediqi, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.
A bus carrying parliamentary staff was struck by the first bomber, killing and wounding many of the parliament's civilian staff as they were leaving for home.
He said a car bomb went off after security forces gathered in the area to tend to the victims of the first blast.
Muhibullah Zir, head of Kabul hospitals' curative medicine, said 63 people were wounded. That was a downward revision from earlier Health Ministry figures that had ranged between 70 and 78.
Earlier police officials said both bombers used Toyota 4Runner type vehicles for the attack.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mujahid said the bombers targeted the Afghan spy agency's "5th Directorate minibus and gathered hirelings in the Darul Aman area."
People who survived the blast described two attacks, right after another.
"We were planning to leave the office. My other colleagues and I were at the gate when a huge blast happened," a parliamentary staff member who wanted to remain anonymous said, adding that a second blast took place five minutes after the first one.
"I saw two MPs with their bodyguards that got out of the gate. I am not sure, but I think they might be among the victims," the staff member said.
NATO Resolute Support mission condemned the attack saying: "We offer condolences to victims & our support to government and people of Afghanistan."
In a separate incident, a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up in the city of Lashkargah, the capital of embattled southern Helmand province, killing seven and injuring another six people in a home where a ceremony was being celebrated.