Pakistan strongly condemns attack at Kabul hotel

Afghan security personnel stood guard as black smoke rose from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul Afghanistan Sunday

Officials of Kam Air aviation company Monday said that at least nine foreign staff members of the company were among those killed in the Taliban siege on Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul on Saturday night.

On Thursday, the U.S. embassy in Kabul issued a warning to United States citizens, saying: "We are aware of reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul".

Afghan interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said details of the raid, which came days after a USA embassy warning of possible attacks on hotels in the capital, were unclear.

Ten other people, including six from the security forces, were reported wounded and more than 150 people, including 41 foreigners, were rescued from the hotel, Danish said.

"We trusted the security of the hotel, we trusted the administration, we trusted the government". The Taliban later took credit for the terror attack in which 14 non-Afghans were also killed.

The Intercontinental was last targeted in June 2011 when a claimed by the Taliban killed 21 people, including 10 civilians. The Taliban and the Islamic State are each active in Kabul, and both have the capability and intent to target foreigners there.

Mumtaz Ahmad, a provincial telecommunication employee for Helmand province who survivor the attack said "I was on my way from my room toward the reception, when I the elevator door opened, I saw two-armed suicide bombers". Some people were injured or killed jumping out of windows while trying to escape. Foreigners remain a primary target for attacks and kidnappings for both groups, since they know the global attention that attacks on foreigners garner and the increased ransoms that accompany kidnapping foreigners.

"We commend the swift and effective response of the Afghan security forces".

A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday stated, "Pakistan strongly condemns the brutal terrorist attack at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul".

Trends: Over the a year ago, the Taliban has focused its resources on battlefields in rural areas of Afghanistan in contrast to the Islamic State - a major force in Afghanistan and the Taliban's primary militant rival.



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