Afghan Hotel Attack Kills 16

Posted June 22nd, 2012 at 5:15 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Afghan officials say a Taliban attack on a hotel outside of Kabul has killed at least 16 people.

Authorities say 12 civilians, three hotel guards and a police officer were killed in the 12-hour siege on the Spozhmai Hotel that began late Thursday and ended early Friday.

Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen seized civilian hostages, including women and children.

Afghan security forces freed at least 35 hostages from the militants before the siege ended.

The French news agency reports all the Taliban attackers are dead.

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

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.