Taliban Launch Late-Night Attack on Kabul Guesthouse
Taliban stormed a guesthouse in the diplomatic quarter of Kabul late on Tuesday night.
Heavily armed insurgents stormed a guesthouse in the diplomatic quarter of Kabul late on Tuesday night and were still resisting Afghan security forces more than five hours after the assault began.
The attack targeted a guesthouse owned by a prominent Afghan political family, Kabul’s police chief said, declining to provide details on the occupants.
“There hasn’t been a face-to-face confrontation yet,” Abdul Rahman Rahimi said. “We have cleared several areas and only a check post at the front of the compound is left.”
There was no immediate word on casualties, but explosions and gunfire continued to be heard after 4 am (2330 GMT), more than five hours after the attack started.
Afghan and Western security sources said the compound was known to be used by foreigners, but it was unclear if any were in the guesthouse at the time.
It was unclear who was responsible for the attack. Representatives of the Taliban, which has been waging an Islamist insurgency in Afghanistan since being toppled by a U.S.-led coalition in 2001, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Teams of elite Afghan security forces were deployed in the guesthouse area, an up-scale part of the capital where many embassies and government buildings are located.
Hours after the attack began, it was still unclear how many insurgents were involved and police vehicles continued to block roads in the diplomatic quarter to traffic.
Kabul’s Police Chief said the guesthouse was owned by the Rabbani family, and further information would be shared once the area was secure. The late Burhanuddin Rabbani served as president of Afghanistan in the 1990s and his son, Salahuddin is the current foreign minister.
The Afghan capital has been hit by a series of high-profile attacks on foreigners and government targets over the past two weeks.
The Taliban targeted the Park Palace hotel on May 13, killing more than a dozen people. The largest number of casualties were Afghan civilians, but an American, a British-Afghan national, four Indians, an Italian and a Kazakh were also among the dead.
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