Attack on Afghanistan's parliament: When even failure is success

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Attack on Afghanistan's parliament

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KABUL

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A SPECTACULAR attack in the capital of Afghanistan earlier this week might be said to have failed: the assailants were all killed before they reached their target. But then it succeeded in dealing a symbolic blow to the heart of the government. It also cast doubt on the sincerity of recent gestures made by the Taliban, which suggested that they would be open to restarting peace talks to end the country’s insurgency.
On Monday seven members of the Taliban attacked the parliament in Kabul with a suicide car bomb, rockets and assault rifles. Two civilians were killed, according to the UN, and more than 30 were injured.

At the time of the attack, lawmakers were gathered inside to vote on President Ashraf Ghani’s nominee for defence minister, Masoom Stanekzai. Everyone knew that the parliament would present a prime target for the insurgents, and so their success in getting past the gates to fire rockets directly at the building was …

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