9 killed in Kabul hotel attack

2014-03-21 14:53
An Afghan policeman blocks a road while standing guard near the security perimeter set up around the Serena hotel in Kabul. (Shah Marai, AFP)

An Afghan policeman blocks a road while standing guard near the security perimeter set up around the Serena hotel in Kabul. (Shah Marai, AFP)

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Kabul - Nine civilians, including children and foreigners, were killed in a Taliban attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul, the spokesperson for Afghanistan's interior ministry said on Friday.

In a brazen assault just weeks before Afghanistan's presidential election, four teenage gunmen with pistols hidden in their socks managed to penetrate several layers of security at the Serena hotel, a prestigious venue favoured by foreign visitors to the capital, on Thursday night.

One of the civilians killed in the attack was a former Paraguayan diplomat who was in Afghanistan as an election observer, Paraguay's Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga said.

The Taliban, who have vowed a campaign of violence to disrupt the election on 5 April, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said four foreigners were among the dead.

The four attackers were gunned down by Afghan security forces.

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