5 dead in truck-bomb attack on Kabul guesthouse
In the ensuing operation at the Northgate Guesthouse on Jalalabad Road, which lasted several hours, one police official and all the four attackers were killed, the Kabul police chief said.
A massive explosion targeting the facility shook the entire city at around 1:30am, paving the ground for the attackers to enter to the high-security building, security officials said.
Small explosions and gunshots were heard until morning, one security official told Pajhwok Afghan News on condition of anonymity. One of attackers was four and one detonated and explosive-laden truck at the gate of the guest house.
All the attackers were killed by 8:00am, Kabul police head, Lt. Col Abdul Rahman Rahimi, told reporters at the site. He added one of the attackers targeted the hotel’s gate with an explosives-laden truck and two others exchanged gunfire with security guards.
Two other assailants were surrounded by security personnel and both of them were killed by morning, Rahimi added. There were no casualties among foreigners but one policeman was killed and three others were wounded.
However, Ministry of Interior spokesman Sidiq Sidiqi said four attackers stormed the hotel and all of them were killed.
Obaidullah, a resident of the area, told Pajhwok Afghan News one attacker detonated his explosives-packed truck at the entrance to the guesthouse and paved the way for two others to enter the compound.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault. The group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said more than 400 foreigners were present in the hotel at the time of the attack. He said foreigners had suffered heavy casualties.
The Northgate Hotel is situated in the Dispichri area in the jurisdiction of the 9th police district, Some other offices providing logistical services to foreigners are also located in the locality.
Police and Special Forces conducted the operation to clear the compound. Two police officers and as many Special Forces’ members were injured. No casualties were reported among hotel guests and staff. Several buildings were damaged.
A powerful truck bomb exploded near the Northgate Hotel in Kabul in the early hours of Monday morning, security officials said. A police officer was killed and the three attackers were dead after a seven-hour gunbattle.
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