Last year, hoping to disrupt Afghanistan’s two rounds of national elections and derail the democratic process, the Taliban staged numerous attacks against government forces and installations. They failed in their effort, as millions of Afghans went to the polls to vote for a new President. At the time, the European Union Observation Assessment Team summed up the situation by stating, “We don’t know who has won, but we know the Taliban have lost.”
Since then, the Taliban, disdaining the will of the people of Afghanistan, has continued its attacks. As the recently issued State Department Country Reports on Terrorism notes, in 2014, insurgents “focused on high-profile terrorist attacks as well as attacks on government officials, particularly in Kabul, to maintain their profile and undermine the central government.”
On the morning of Monday, June 22nd, five days into the holy month of Ramadan, a Taliban suicide bomber detonated a car bomb in front of the Afghan parliament, as lawmakers met to confirm a new Defense Minister. Six heavily armed men attempted to fight their way into the building, but were immediately shot and killed by Afghan security forces. No legislators were injured, but the Taliban attackers did manage to murder an Afghan woman and a ten-year-old girl, and to wound another 31 civilians.
In the words of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, "Targeting innocent people in the holy month of Ramadan is a clear act of hostility against the religion of Islam." The perpetrators "are criminals who are bound by no creed or religion."
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the attack on Afghanistan’s parliament building,” said State Department Spokesman John Kirby.
“This attack demonstrates the gulf between the Taliban and the people of Afghanistan, and shows blatant disregard for human life and for democracy.”