World News

2 Dead in Taliban Attack in Afghan Capital

Taliban militants attacked a guesthouse used by a land mine removal group in Afghanistan Friday, sparking a gun battle and leaving at least two people dead, including a child.

Suicide bombers and gunmen laid siege to the guesthouse in the Afghan capital, Kabul, trapping up to six people during the gunfight.

The head of the U.S.-based non-governmental group Land for Peace, which occupied the house, told VOA that hours after the attack the fate of three of the six workers inside the building was unknown. He said suicide bombers were among the dead.

Afghan officials are on high alert for attacks as the country's April 5 presidential election approaches, with Friday's incident marking the third deadly Taliban attack in Kabul in eight days.

Taliban insurgents have vowed to disrupt the election, which is considered key to Afghanistan's stability after international troops end their combat mission at the end of this year.



If successful, the poll would mark Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power.

Afghan officials said 20 foreign and local workers in the area of Friday's attack were able to escape. The Taliban claimed the guesthouse was being used as a church.
###

Feature Story

Israeli forces' flares light up the night sky over Gaza City on July 29, 2014.

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More