Dozens of people have been killed and scores wounded in two suicide blasts near Afghanistan's parliament in the capital, Kabul, according to officials, in an attack claimed by the Afghan Taliban.

Security officials said a suicide bomber blew himself up on Tuesday in the Darul Aman area of the city and was followed immediately by a car bomber in an apparently coordinated operation.

The blasts, which followed a period of relative calm in Kabul, tore through employees exiting a parliament annexe, which houses politicians' offices, leaving the area littered with bloodied bodies.

A health ministry official told Al Jazeera the attack killed at least 30 people and wounded a further 80.

The Taliban said the attack targeted a minibus carrying staff from Afghanistan's main intelligence agency, killing or wounding as many as 70 people.

Tuesday's basts followed a period of relative calm in Kabul [Mohammad Ismail/Reuters]

The parliament complex has been a prime target for Taliban fighters. In June 2015, the group attacked the old parliament building, sending politicians running for cover in chaotic scenes relayed live on television.

Earlier on Tuesday, a suicide bomber on foot struck in the southern Helmand province, killing at least seven people, officials said.

The target of the attack was a guesthouse used by a provincial intelligence official in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the earlier attack.

Onset of winter

The Taliban are pressing ahead with nationwide attacks despite the onset of winter.

Repeated bids to launch peace negotiations with the Taliban have failed and a fierce new fighting season is expected to kick off in the spring.

Afghanistan last week welcomed the Pentagon's decision to deploy about 300 US soldiers of the Marine Corps to Helmand.

The move has been described by the Taliban as a challenge it welcomed.

 

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies