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Kabul attacks after Taliban suicide and car bomb blasts ‘target Afghanistan MPs’

The bombings tore through the parliament building hours after a suicide bomber killed seven people in Lashkar Gah.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the bombings, which struck as employees were exiting the parliament complex.

It said its target had been a minibus carrying staff from the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s main intelligence agency.

An injured parliament security guard said: “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.

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

Another security official said the explosions had left "dozens of people dead".

The Taliban has been carrying out nationwide attacks despite the onset of winter, when fighting usually reduces.

"Right after the explosion, I jumped in a stream and then I saw some injured people and a bus which was totally burnt out," said Sajadullah Khan, a witness who was walking by when the blasts occurred.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the "criminal" attacks and vowed that the perpetrators would not be safe anywhere in the country.

"The Taliban shamelessly claim credit for the attack on civilians and they're proud of it," he said in a statement.

Earlier on Tuesday, a suicide bomber blew himself up in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the volatile southern province of Helmand, killing seven people, the local police chief said.

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.

About 10,000 US troops are assisting struggling Afghan forces to combat a resilient Taliban insurgency along with Al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants.