Twin Explosions Rock Afghan Parliament, 21 Killed

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Update: At least 21 killed and 45 injured, reports.
Kabul: Twin bombs went off near the Afghan parliament in Kabul on Tuesday, officials said, with major casualties feared in the rush-hour attack that shattered a relative lull in violence in the capital.

“The first explosion happened outside the parliament. A number of innocent workers were killed and wounded. It was caused by a suicide bomber on foot,” Zabi, an injured parliament security guard, told.The explosion reportedly happened close to the American University and Noor hospital on Darulaman Road.

“The second one was a car bomb. It was parked on the other side of the road and flung me back when it detonated,” he said.

Ministry of Health confirms at least 40 wounded and killed in the blasts that targeted convoy of officials leaving parliament offices.

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The Taliban are pressing ahead with nationwide attacks despite the onset of winter, when fighting usually ebbs, even as international efforts intensify to jumpstart peace talks. Repeated bids to launch peace negotiations with the Taliban have failed, with a fierce new fighting season expected to kick off in the spring.

The bombings underline concerns over growing insecurity in Afghanistan, where around 10,000 US troops are assisting struggling Afghan forces to combat a resilient Taliban insurgency along with Al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants.

Afghan Taliban has  claimed responsibility for the bombings.