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9 Civilians Killed in Taliban Hotel Attack

Afghan officials say nine civilians were killed when four teenage Taliban gunmen penetrated the security of a luxury Kabul hotel with guns stuffed in their socks and opened fire.

An interior ministry spokesman (Sediq Sediqi) said the four attackers were shot dead. He also confirmed that foreign civilians were among those killed in the incident Thursday.



"The attackers were killed in three hours by the Afghan security forces. Unfortunately, nine people were also killed by the attackers, four of them foreigners, from New Zealand, one from Canada and one from Pakistan and India, and also five others were Afghans, among them two children and two women, and there were six other wounded in this attack."



Officials say the gunmen walked into the Serena Hotel in the early evening and waited about three hours before firing. All were said to be younger than 18 years old.

The Taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack. The militant group has promised to disrupt plans for the April 5 Afghan presidential election.



A suicide bomber attacked the Serena Hotel in 2008, killing at least six people.

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