NATO Forces End Taliban Attack In Kabul
Six Taliban members were killed in NATO’s rocket attack. At least six civilians have been reported dead by Afghan authorities, though the Taliban’s spokesperson told the Associated Press his group’s attack Tuesday claimed at least 50 civilian lives.
Hotel guests reported seeing grenades launched into the nearby home of Afghan Vice President Mohammed Qasim Fahim before hearing explosions in the hotel itself.
The Taliban members burst into two events being held at the hotel, one of which was a wedding party, and detonated their explosives. Samoonyar Mohammad Zaman, a security officer with Afghanistan’s interior ministry, said there were about 70 guests at the hotel at the time of the attacks.
Zaman also said the Taliban insurgents were heavily armed, with machines and hand grenades among the weapons they used.
It’s believed that three of four of the Taliban members died when they detonated suicide bombs. NATO has claimed responsibility for the remaining deaths, saying its helicopter strike was aimed at Taliban insurgents who were on the hotel’s roof.
The police attempted to fight off the insurgents for more than four hours before NATO aid arrived.
By the time NATO’s return attack was complete, the hotel was engulfed in flames.
The Taliban has not yet specified a reason for Tuesday’s attack, but a conference on the transition of government as U.S. forces begin to pull out of Afghanistan was scheduled to take place at the hotel Wednesday.
No U.S. citizens were believed to have been at the hotel during the attacks, U.S. officials told CNN.
This is first attack on a hotel frequented by Westerners since 2008, when Taliban gunmen staged an attack on Kabul’s Hotel Serena, which is not far from the Intercontinental.
Watch a video of Tuesday’s attack below: