Eight Dead after Taliban Launch Attack on Foreigners for Drinking Alcohol; Breaking Rules of Islam
by BEN FARMER
June 22, 2012
Militants armed with explosive vests, assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades attacked the Spozhmai hotel near Qarga Lake, late on Thursday night.
The assault, claimed by the Taliban, killed at least one policeman and there were unconfirmed reports of four civilians and three guards killed.
Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the insurgent movement, told reporters the attack had been against foreigners drinking alcohol at the hotel and breaking the rules of Islam.
However the area is not known as a popular hang-out for foreigners and police said it was not immediately clear any foreigners were inside the building.
The siege at the Spozhmai ended after around ten hours of fighting in which intense bursts of machine gunfire and explosions reverberated around the lake.
During the fighting Ayoub Salangi, Kabul police chief, told Reuters that 18 civilian hostages had been freed.
He said: "Two terrorists have been killed and we have cleared the second floor of the hotel. We are now clearing the area of the remaining insurgents."
"Our officers have not gone yet to the lake side of the hotel and we don't know if there are more terrorists," he said.