News / Asia

    Foreigners' Residence in Kabul Attacked by Taliban

    • An Afghan man helps an injured man at the site of an attack in Kabul, March 28, 2014.
    • Afghan police arrive at the site of an attack in Kabul, March 28, 2014.
    • Foreigners evacuated by police from the site of an attack in Kabul, March 28, 2014.
    • Afghan police and special forces surround the area after suicide bombers armed with assault rifles and hand grenades attacked a guesthouse used by foreigners in Kabul, March 28, 2014.
    • Intelligence agency commandos arrive after suicide bombers armed with assault rifles and hand grenades attacked a guesthouse used by foreigners in Kabul, March 28, 2014.
    Sharon Behn
    Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a guesthouse housing foreign and local non-governmental workers working for a land-mine removal NGO in western Kabul, killing at least two people Friday.
     
    In what has become a hallmark militant attack, suicide bombers blasted their way into a foreign guesthouse compound in western Kabul, then started shooting. The guesthouse was home to a U.S.-based NGO called Roots of Peace.
     
    Dozens of security vehicles including Kabul’s Rapid Reaction Force quickly converged on the scene and surrounded the compound. A number of residents managed to escape and were escorted to safety by police.
     
    Interior Ministry officials said about 20 foreign and local workers escaped the attack, which began with a bomb explosion. Three Americans, a Peruvian, a Malaysian, an Australian, and one person of African origin were among the survivors.
     
    Mohammad Sharif Osmani, country director for Roots of Peace, said up to six people were pinned down inside the guesthouse during the four-hour gunfight that followed the bombing.
     
    “The guest house is under attack, and there are around three or four suicide bombers and some of them have been killed, but I think it shows there is still someone alive," said Osmani
     
    It was the third Taliban attack in eight days in the capital, and the second on buildings housing foreigners. On March 20, militants shot and killed nine people, including two children, in the Kabul Serena hotel.
     
    March 25, they stormed an election office, killing four before the militants themselves were killed.
     
    Osmani could not confirm the nationalities of those still left in the compound. He said two Afghan guards and one driver were wounded in the assault.
     
    The Taliban has vowed to disrupt the April 5 presidential elections, and has claimed responsibility for attacks against police stations, election offices and campaign activities across the country.
     
    Jandad Spinghar, head of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan, says he is concerned by the increasing violence.
     
    “It shows that the Taliban is trying to prove what they said in their last statement, that they will disrupt the election and attack. It’s affecting our work as well; some of our observers might resign, and it will be difficult to replace them in such a short time,” said Spinghar.
     
     
    Security officials say they have measures in place to protect the roughly 7,000 polling stations around the country on April 5, election day. International forces are on standby and will provide air logistics.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.