Friday, June 22, 2012

Afghan Taliban attack on hotel near Kabul ends

Afghan forces led the operation against the gunmen, with help from international forces, as Quentin   Somerville reports

Afghan security forces have ended a 12-hour attack by Taliban militants on a hotel outside Kabul, in which at least 20 people died, officials say.

Insurgents attacked the Spozhmai Hotel in the Lake Qargha area on Thursday night, taking many hostages.

Kabul's police chief said 15 civilians, including hotel guests, died. All five insurgents were killed.

The Taliban claimed the attack, saying the hotel was used by wealthy Afghans and foreigners for "wild parties".

Lake Qargha is on the outskirts of Kabul and is favoured by residents of the Afghan capital for day trips and family outings.
The BBC's Quentin Sommerville, in Kabul, says this was an easy target for the Taliban, in a fairly remote area, with little security.

Foreigners rarely visit the lake, our correspondent says.

In addition to the five militants, those killed included civilians, hotel guards and a police officer.

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