News / Asia

Afghan Officials: Hotel Attack Will Not Affect Security Transition

Smoke and flames light up the night from a blaze at the Intercontinental hotel after an attack on the hotel by Taliban fighters and a response by Afghan security forces backed by NATO helicopters in Kabul, June 29, 2011
Smoke and flames light up the night from a blaze at the Intercontinental hotel after an attack on the hotel by Taliban fighters and a response by Afghan security forces backed by NATO helicopters in Kabul, June 29, 2011

The Taliban assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, which left 11 civilians and police dead in addition to the attackers, comes as NATO forces are beginning a process of handing over security to local authorities. Afghan officials say despite the attack, that handover will continue.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the attack in the nation’s capital will not deter Afghanistan's forces from taking over their security role as planned.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the highly coordinated attack on the landmark Intercontinental Hotel in an apparent attempt to show they are still able to carry out such assaults - despite months of heavy attacks by NATO and Afghan forces.

Related Video: Afghan Violence

Afghan National Security Directorate spokesman Luftullah Mashal says the insurgents may have taken advantage of a gap in security caused by renovations to the hotel.

The Intercontinental, built on a hill overlooking Kabul in the 1960s, was once the premier hotel in the Afghan capital - hosting conferences and many foreigners. Visitors must cross through several checkpoints along a winding road to reach the hotel.

"There was a loophole in the security, definitely. Investigation will definitely take place. There was reconstruction and renovation work also going on in a part of the hotel," said Marshal. "The insurgents are using every means to infiltrate into tight security areas."

Initial reports indicate that a small group of heavily armed men stormed into the hotel late Tuesday with automatic weapons, grenade launchers and suicide belts. The ensuing gun battle lasted more than five hours.  

Afghan police initially cordoned off the area. An Afghan special commando unit arrived later, and NATO helicopters provided assistance.

According to NATO spokesman Master Sergeant Jason Haag, coalition forces mobilized at the request of the Afghan Ministry of the Interior, but the response was conducted primarily by the Afghan security forces.

"We were called in, specifically for air asset. We also had some ISAF-embedded mentors that were part of the Afghan unit that was involved in the response," said Haag. "We did put some assets on standby as well, just in case. Medevac and some explosives folks were on standby but they did not actually respond.

Haag went on to say that this was mostly "an Afghan-led operation and we just provided those couple of supporting roles."

The spokesman added that the NATO helicopters did fire at insurgents who had taken positions on the hotel’s roof.

The fighting ended early Wednesday with all the insurgents killed.

Key installations in Kabul and around the country remain on high alert as a result of the assault on the hotel.

The last major attack on a Kabul hotel was in 2008, when militants stormed the luxury Serena Hotel in the center of the city, killing eight people in a coordinated assault.

A summit on the security transition was supposed to take place at the Intercontinental on Wednesday, and many Afghan provincial officials who are taking part were staying at the hotel.

The transition commission was set to discuss Afghan preparations for the international troop withdrawal.

Security control of seven areas in Afghanistan are set to be handed over to Afghan forces next month, with all foreign combat troops expected to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid