(BBC) A co-ordinated Taliban attack on the Afghan parliament in Kabul has ended with all six gunmen killed, the interior ministry says. Attackers detonated a huge car bomb outside the building, before racing into parliament itself, reports said.

Police evacuated the premises, while trying to fight the gunmen off. The Taliban say they carried out the attack to coincide with a vote to endorse a new defence minister, Massoom Stanekzai.

No shooting has been heard for several minutes. At least 18 people are reported to have been wounded in the attack. Pictures on social media showed parliament full of smoke and people running for cover.

Local media report another explosion in the Dahmazang area of Kabul city. Television was broadcasting live from the building when the attackers struck and MPs were seen fleeing the building. One female MP is reported to have been wounded. Even by Afghan standards, these are very dramatic scenes, and police had a complex operation on their hands, says the BBC’s David Loyn in Kabul.

The country has been without a full-time defence minister for several months, and the attack is sending a clear message to the government by putting out Monday’s parliamentary proceedings, our correspondent says.