News / Asia

Taliban Kabul Hotel Attack Kills 9

Afghan security personnel arrive near the Serena hotel, during an attack in Kabul, March 20, 2014.
Afghan security personnel arrive near the Serena hotel, during an attack in Kabul, March 20, 2014.
Sharon Behn
— In the aftermath of a militant gun attack on Kabul's Serena Hotel, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry spokesman said Friday that the dearh toll is nine people, including four foreigners.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Seddiqui said the foreigners included two from Bangladesh, one Canadian and a Paraguayan. Earlier he had said a New Zealand national, a Pakistani and an Indian were among the dead.
 
  • Afghan police patrol the entrance of the Serena hotel in downtown Kabul, March 21, 2014.
  • A view of the Serena Hotel, a day after it was attacked by gunmen, in Kabul, March 21, 2014.
  • Afghanistan's intelligence service displays some of the Serena hotel attackers' weapons and belongings during a press conference at the Interior ministry in Kabul, March 21, 2014.
  • Afghan security personnel arrive near the Serena hotel, during an attack in Kabul, March 20, 2014.
  • Afghan police forces arrive at the site of a gun battle in Serena Hotel in Kabul, March 20, 2014.

Among the Afghan victims was a reporter for the French news agency Agence France Presse, his wife and two of his three young children.

AFP identified the man Friday as Sardar Ahmad, a 40-year-old journalist in its Kabul bureau. The agency reported that Ahmad's s youngest son was undergoing emergency treatment after being badly wounded.

The Taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack. The militant group, which has promised to disrupt plans for the April 5 Afghan presidential election, has carried out attacks across the country, killing some 30 people during the past five days.
 
Seddiqui described the scene, saying gunmen arrived at the hotel around 8:30 p.m.,  then walked toward the restaurant.
 
“As soon as they find the restaurant, they enter and start shooting indiscriminately on people who were in the hotel," he said. "Only seven of them in the restaurant, but two of outside the restaurant, close to the lobby, one in the lobby and the other was close to the restaurant.

"And they also killed and shot on the head, the two kids who were there, unfortunately," he said. "This is a very brutal act of terrorism.”

Security guards in the hotel returned fire, killing two of the gunmen. Two others hid inside a restroom.

Security forces moved in to secure all the guests, then  cornered the gunmen and shot them. The last one was killed at 11:30 p.m. The four gunmen were reportedly teenagers.
 
Among the wounded are one foreign national, Afghan lawmaker Habibullah Gul, two police officers and a hotel guard.
 
Seddiqui said an investigation is underway as to how the gunmen managed to get into the hotel, which is protected by blast walls, metal detectors and a guard force.
 
At first glance, he said, it appeared to be a failure of the hotel’s own security measures.
 
“When you get to the hotel there are lots of security guards, lots of checking, 100 percent ID checking, and they have those necessary equipments to find where that gun was hidden, that pistol was hidden," he said.

"It’s very obvious, it gives the conclusion that yes, it was an absolute failure of that system, a very closed security system,” he said.

Seddiqui said the attack had the marks of a Taliban or Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network operation.

The Taliban has vowed to disrupt the upcoming election, which it dismisses as a Western-led sham, and target those participating.
 
But Seddiqui said the country would not be deterred by such threats.
 
“We are very committed, and we are trying our best to make sure we can prevent these kinds of attacks in the future," he said. "The police, the intelligence units, everybody is working very, very hard.

"We are very much prepared for the elections," he said. "But this kind of attacks will not deter us from reaching our objective and goals, and that is the security of the elections.”

Kabul’s Serena hotel is considered one of the safer places to stay in the capital, and houses many foreigners, including U.N. workers and journalists.
 
Both the U.N. Assistance Mission to Afghanistan and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force condemned the attack.
 
It was the worse assault on the Kabul Serena Hotel since a suicide bomber blew himself up inside the hotel in 2008, killing six.

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.  
 
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,” said Sediqi.
 
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.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Not Again from: Canada
March 21, 2014 2:37 PM
I fail to understand as to WHY? VOA calls these henious criminals, that deliberately target innocent civilians, women and children "MILITANTS"- They are not members of workplace committee or other groups seeking justice- they are no more nor less, but despicable TERRORISTS. No wonder we are having so much instability, caused by terrorists on a global scale, because the Western world no longer sees, or does not want to see the reality; these groups that deliberately target civilians are TERRORISTS! And the reality is that these terrorist kill more Muslims around the World than any other definable group.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid