June 22nd, 2012
02:38 AM ET

Taliban militants strike Afghan hotel, take hostages

Taliban militants attacked a hotel near Kabul early Friday, sparking an hourslong gun battle with Afghan and NATO troops to free civilians taken hostage in the deadly siege.

At least three security guards, a police officer and three militants were killed in the standoff, according to Mohammad Ayoub Salangi, the Kabul police chief. Two other attackers are injured and resisting the assault, he said.

The siege is ongoing and at least 47 civilians have been rescued so far, including four women, he said.

Terrified civilians fled when the gunmen struck the Spozhmai hotel around midnight Thursday local time, with some jumping into a nearby lake to avoid the bloodshed. The hotel was hosting an outdoor dinner that drew a large number of Afghans, including women and children.

Afghan forces moved slowly overnight to avoid civilian casualties, the police chief said. Camouflaged soldiers hovered nearby in military vehicles as helicopters flew overhead amid heavy gunfire.

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Filed under: World
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Ivan

    Whoever described this hotel (in Kabul, Afghanistan of all places) as "idyllic" with Taliban within reach is surely guilty of criminal exaggeration.

    And how did the Taliban know who was there to have as hostage?
    Is the hotel staffed with extremely curious and nosy Muslims?
    Gosh, I wonder if they might have seen anyone wearing a Taliban t-shirt?
    Somebody should ask them these very important questions.

    June 22, 2012 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. HIDE BEHIND

    Oh I don't know that the hotel in question is that bad, an aquaintence that tra eled there for many years buying Jewels and srmi previous nut rare gems said he was always quite comfortable when visiting.
    Of course since trobles began he deals outside country buthe liked the Afghan buisnessmen he met.
    Shsrp traders and very knowledgeable about world outside Kabul.
    Sorry to disolution some but not all Afghansran around killing just for the hell of it begore we got there to save them.

    June 22, 2012 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    Oh!
    Something is happening in Afghanistan, this news conveys. Cor blimey I forgot.
    Its 'Operation Enduring Freedom' in its 11th year of , of , what was it again? Yes freedom.
    Another 89 years to go if one goes with Dick Cheney's promise.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. HIDE BEHIND

    Well if Cheney can buy enough spare body parts he will be around at the 100th Recognition and still be applauded by Industry, Christian Zionist and corporate military and energy suppliers.
    Why a hotel?
    Civil rights of course, they discriminate. against Taliban. and the Taliban is fed up with every
    dead Afghan being called Taliban.
    After all the Al Q were only a couple hundred and they ran like heck out of country, leaving only a few thousand in three different groups who were invited too restore law and order for Afghan government and had nothing to do with Al Q group, yet for some strange reason they got all the nlame and afyer years of punishment still are exiled to the unwanted hinterlands.

    June 22, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat

    Yes @ Hide Behind
    Most folks here do not know that Taliban had offered twice to hand over Osama to us. But that great statesman and leader G.W rejected out right. But then the agenda was vastly different than what this gullible public was led to believe.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Greek American

    A hotel in Afghanistan? Bahaha. Who would want to be staying in that slum?

    June 24, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |