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KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban fired at least two rockets at Afghanistan’s new parliament building Monday morning, causing minor damage but no casualties.

The attack occurred as top defense and intelligence officials were preparing to speak to the assembly about the country’s security situation.

Abdulghafar Ghorzang, the head of security at the parliament, said three rockets were fired at the compound, but Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said two rockets were used in the attack.

The Taliban claimed responsibility on their website. They said they also fired rockets at a nearby Afghan military base and caused casualties. The group often exaggerates casualty claims.

Afghan army officials would not confirm one of their bases was hit.

The Taliban routinely target government and diplomatic areas in Kabul; however, there have been few attacks this year that have caused casualties.

In southern Afghanistan, eight police officers were killed at two checkpoints in Helmand province on Sunday night, The Associated Press reported.

Local officials blamed the Taliban, but the group did not immediately claim responsibility, the AP said.

Helmand, a Taliban stronghold, has been the site of intense military activity in past months, with government forces withdrawing from some districts in a move they say is designed to concentrate forces.

Afghanistan is bracing for the start of the spring fighting season. The Taliban, who have kept pressure on Afghan forces in the months since the international coalition formally ended its combat role, have threatened increased attacks this year.

Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.

wellman.phillip@stripes.com

Twitter: @PhillipWellman

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Phillip is a reporter and photographer for Stars and Stripes, based in Kaiserslautern, Germany. From 2016 to 2021, he covered the war in Afghanistan from Stripes’ Kabul bureau. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics.
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