A Taliban suicide bomber and six gunmen attacked the Afghan parliament on Monday as lawmakers met to consider a new defence minister, and another district in the volatile north fell to the militants as they intensified a summer offensive.
The brazen assault on the symbolic centre of power, along with territorial gains elsewhere, highlight how NATO-trained Afghan security forces are struggling to cope with worsening militant violence.
Fighting has spiralled since the departure of most foreign forces from Afghanistan
at the end of last year. The insurgents are pushing to take territory more than 13 years after US-led military intervention toppled them from power.