Taliban Attack on Kabul Hotel Claims 14

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The Taliban claimed responsibility Thursday for an hours-long attack on a guesthouse in the Afghan capital that killed 14 civilians, including several foreigners.

Kabul Police Chief Abdul Rahman said the attack began Wednesday night when gunmen began shooting at the Park Palace Hotel during a party for foreigners. Five hours later, it ended with police killing three assailants, he said.

The U.S. Embassy said one American was among the dead, while Indian officials said four Indians were killed.

 

A Taliban statement said the militants targeted the party because of the presence of Americans, and that only one suicide bomber armed with automatic weapons carried out the attack.

 

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan condemned the killing of civilians, noting the nearly 3,000 civilian casualties in the first four months of this year were the highest it had ever recorded.

 

“These deliberate attacks on civilians are atrocities,” UNAMA’s Human Rights Director Georgette Gagnon said in a statement. “Taliban statements on avoiding civilian casualties ring hollow when we set them against the latest killings. The Taliban should abide by their commitments and immediately stop deliberately attacking civilians.”

 

The Park Palace Hotel, popular with foreign visitors and nongovernmental organizations, is close to UNAMA’s offices.

 

The area, called Shahr e Naw or New City, is home to several upscale restaurants frequented by members of NGOs working in Kabul.

 

Multiple reviews left on travel sites about the Park Palace have expressed satisfaction with the security measures provided.

 

Also Wednesday, another suicide attack in Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand province, killed 10 people and wounded another 12.

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