Taliban Insurgents Attack Popular Kabul Hotel, Sieze Hostages

Posted June 21st, 2012 at 11:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Afghan officials said Friday a number of hostages taked by Taliban militants during at attack on a hotel on the outskirts of Kabul have been freed.

Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the hotel late Thursday, seizing civilian hostages, including women and children.

The attack set off an hours-long gunbattle with Afghan security forces.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack, saying its fighters had targeted a hotel being used by foreigners.

Officials said early Friday at least three of the militants are inside the Spozhmai Hotel.

Police say there are some deaths.

Police say the Taliban insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades and Kalashnikov rifles, attacked the hotel on the shores of Qargha Lake where guests and families had gathered for a party. The hotel is popular with wealthy Afghans, businessmen, and foreigners.

The attack came hours after Afghan President Hamid Karzai told Parliament that insurgent attacks against Afghan police and soldiers are increasing as foreign combat troops prepare to pull out of the country.