Taliban militants attacked the Afghan parliament with bombs and rockets Monday in an attempt that wounded dozens of civilians and shocked lawmakers.
The terrorist group detonated a large car bomb near the outer wall of the parliament compound, sending dense smoke into the sky. As the chaos unfolded, six Taliban militants then tried to storm inside, according to police spokesman Ebadullah Karimi.
Afghan security forces were able to defeat the attackers who, once pushed out, moved into a nearby building, where they continued attacking with rocket propelled grenades and AK-47 assault rifles. Yet all six attackers were eventually killed in the firefight, according to Karimi.
Inside the parliament building the blast shattered glass and shook loose the ceiling which filled the hall with dust. Lawmakers were assembled and in a meeting when the first explosion occurred.
The general meeting was for Mohammad Masoom Stanikzai, the nominee for defense minister, and he was to be introduced before presenting his plans and policies ahead of a confirmation vote.
According to the police spokesman all of the lawmakers were unharmed and evacuated from the parliament building in short order.
Yet 31 civilians were wounded in the attack, including three children, according to Dr. Kabir Amiri, chief of Kabul Central Hospitals.
The Taliban took to one of their Twitter accounts and informed the world that the group chose to target the parliament specifically because it was the day the defense minister was to be introduced.
The UN mission in Afghanistan swiftly condemned the attack, deeming it "a clear and deliberate affront to democracy in Afghanistan."
The U.S. Embassy said the attack showed "blatant disrespect for democracy and the rule of law."
Monday's attack is just the latest in a string of high-profile attacks by the Taliban in the Afghan capital.
The militants have recently been targeting hotels housing foreigners, and attacked the Park Palace Guest House last month, killing more than a dozen people.
Afghan forces continue to struggle with a Taliban offensive across different parts of the country and American troops pulled out of the country last year.