Kabul hotel attack ends as three gunmen killed; two foreigners injured

Security forces have reportedly cordoned off the area and confronted the assailants, a local security commander has said

A hotel in northwestern Kabul came under attack on Monday, a security official has confirmed. According to witnesses and footage, loud explosions and gunfire were heard at the scene. The fighting reportedly broke out at a guest house, which is said to be popular among foreigners, including Chinese entrepreneurs visiting Afghanistan.

According to TOLO News, security forces arrived at the scene and cordoned off the part of the Shahr-e Naw neighborhood where the attack occurred. Khalid Zadran, the spokesman for the Afghan capital’s Police Command, confirmed that an operation to stop the assailants was underway.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the Taliban government, stated later in the day that the situation was resolved with the death of the three attackers. He reported that no guests were killed, but two foreign citizens were injured when they jumped out of windows during the attack.

Police spokesman Zadran described the gunmen as “devils,” but did not say if their affiliation was known. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

In footage purportedly showing the incident and shared on social media, apparent gunshots can be heard in the background. Some videos show a tall building with flames visible in some windows and smoke coming from under the roof.

A witness told TOLO News that the fighting started with two loud explosions, followed by smaller bangs.

The attack in Kabul came one day after China’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Wang Yu, raised the issue of security in Afghanistan during a meeting with Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, who serves as deputy foreign minister in the Taliban’s government.

Kabul reported that the Chinese diplomat expressed concern for the safety of his mission. Stanikzai assured the official that the issue was of paramount importance for the host nation, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said.

Providing security has been a major goal for the Taliban since it seized control of the country in August last year after toppling the US-backed government. The movement is locked in a conflict with the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), which conducts periodic attacks against religious minorities, Taliban forces, and other high-value targets.

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