Kabul, Dec 21: Taliban gunmen stormed the residence of an Afghan lawmaker in the capital Kabul today, with casualties feared in the ongoing gun battle that follows a recent lull in violence. It was not immediately clear if Helmand MP Mir Wali was in the compound when the attack began this evening, but local media reported some members of his family may have been killed or taken hostage, citing security officials at the scene.
The Taliban in a statement said their suicide bombers raided the house to disrupt an "important gathering of security officials". Sporadic gunfire and explosions were heard from the house as Afghan forces cordoned off the property after launching a clearance operation. Security officials were tight-lipped about the attack, which underscores the worsening security situation in Afghanistan.
The Taliban are escalating their insurgency despite the onset of winter, when fighting usually ebbs, even as international efforts intensify to restart stalled peace talks. Fifteen years and hundreds of billions of dollars since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the security situation in the country remains fraught and Afghan forces are struggling to contain the conflict.