UK & World News
Kabul: Foreigners Among 9 Killed In Hotel Attack
Four foreigners were among nine people killed when teenage gunmen attacked a luxury hotel in Kabul, officials have confirmed.
Afghan authorities initially said only two security guards were injured during the attack on the Serena hotel.
But deputy interior minister General Mohammad Ayub Salangi confirmed on Friday that nine people, including two children, were killed in a restaurant in the hotel.
The foreign victims included two men and two women, from Canada, New Zealand, India and Pakistan. Five Afghan people were also killed.
Sardar Ahmad, an Afghan reporter at the Agence France-Presse news agency, was among the victims.
Ahmad was shot dead along with his wife and two of his three children.
Four gunmen hid pistols inside their socks as they passed through metal detectors at the hotel, hid for three hours and then stormed into the restaurant, according to interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.
The attack ended around 11:30pm when Afghan security forces killed the last of the attackers.
The Serena Hotel is considered one of the safest places to stay in Kabul because of its tight security. It is used by UN staff and prominent Afghan politicians.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.
He said: "Our people, if they decide to attack any place, they can do it."
In 2008, gunmen disguised as police stormed the Serena Hotel and killed six people inside a gym.
The attack is the latest in a spate carried out by insurgents seeking to disrupt the presidential election on April 5.
It comes after 11 people were killed in a separate attack on a police station in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan.