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Afghan Security Forces Killed Four Taliban Bombers in Kabul Guesthouse Attack

Ghani commends ANSF for thwarting terror bid

AT-KABUL: Four Taliban suicide bombers, who launched hours-long gun battle in highly guarded diplomatic district of Kabul city, were killed by Afghan security forces, early in the morning, security officials told Afghanistan Times.

Started around 11:00 pm, the six hours long failed attack in Wazir Akbar Khan district, that houses several embassies, foreign offices and official buildings, was claimed by the Taliban that was ended early in the Wednesday morning.

Apparently the main target of the bombers was Heetal Plaza Hotel, frequented by foreigners, but were failed to penetrate and were kept out of the building by security guards and then pushed by security forces to hide behind the fortified walls.

The assailants were armed with a rocket propelled grenade launcher, AK-47s and other weapons, security authorities said.

“The attackers were immediately sieged by Special Forces in front of the building and due to the darkness the operation lasted till morning. Finally, all attackers were killed in the first hour of the daylight,” Kabul Police Chief, Abdul Rahman Rahimi, told reporters at the scene of the incident, after the attack was ended.

“No civilian or military casualties were reported,” Deputy Interior Minister, Ayoub Salangi, wrote on his official Twitter account.

“Attackers had one RPG launcher, three AK-47s and one grenade launcher,” Salangi said.

The guesthouse, known as Heetal Plaza, was attacked by the Taliban in December 2009, as well, which is now leased to a foreign company, used as guesthouse and hotel, frequented by foreigners, officials said.

The attackers appeared to have tried to enter the hotel by firing rocket propelled grenades at its heavy steel front gate. But the militants failed to destroy the get and make way.

All roads leading to the area were blocked for traffic till morning by Afghan Special Forces, to prevent movements of citizens, and possible casualties.

President Ashraf Ghani has commended the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) for their bravery and quick response to thwart the terror attack on the guesthouse.

He said that anti-state elements had lost the courage to face ANSF in the battlefield.

Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, who took credit for the last night’s guesthouse attack, claimed that several foreigners were killed and injured in attack.

Four armed attackers were involved, Mujahid said, they were residents of eastern Afghanistan.

Several guesthouses have been attacked over the past few years in this locality, and security has been ramped up in this area as compared to other parts of the capital city.

This was the second group suicide attack by militants within the last 24 hours being carried out as part of the spring offensives of armed Taliban, started on April 24 in the country.

Yesterday morning, four highly equipped suicide bombers stormed provincial court in central Maidan Wardak. The one blew himself up at the entrance and three others were shot dead in a brief exchange of gunfire by security forces. Two policemen were also killed.

Taliban recently warned, they will not classify any national of the “invading countries” particularly from NATO members, as civilian, and will target them, accusing them of helping the ongoing “occupation” by foreigners, according to the Taliban spokesman.

This was the second armed attack on guesthouses in Kabul within the last two weeks. At least 14 people, including foreigners, were killed in a same attack on Park Palace Guesthouse in another part of Kabul on May 14.

The United Nations figures show, at least 3,000 Afghan civilians were killed and injured in first four months of the 2015 in Afghanistan, 16 percent up than the same period of last year.

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