The latest: Terror outfit Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack which targeted a guest house in Kabul, popular among Chinese nationals. According to reports, a loud explosion and gunfire were reported from Kabul’s Shahr-e-new area, which is the capital’s one of the main commercial areas.
- The group said two of its personnel “attacked a big hotel frequented by Chinese diplomats and businessmen in Kabul, where they detonated two explosive devices hidden inside two bags,” one of them targeting a party for Chinese guests and the other targeting the reception hall.
- The IS statement said that one of the fighters started throwing hand grenades at Taliban officers while they tried to stop them. The other person started detonating bombs he had fixed on hotel doors and fired at people.
- ISIS claimed in a statement that at least 30 people had been killed and wounded in the attack.
- The terror group also released an image of the armed attackers responsible for carrying out the explosions.
- The Emergency Hospital in Kabul had said in a tweet on Monday night that there was an explosion and gunfire near a hotel approximately a kilometre away. It added, “So far, we have received 21 casualties – three were already dead on arrival.”
- Chinese officials have not yet commented on the attack.
- The Taliban said earlier that the attack on the Kabul hotel building had ended and that all the hotel guests had been rescued and none of the foreign guests had been killed. Three armed men involved in the attack were reported to have been killed by Taliban security forces.
Why it matters? This is the latest blast in Taliban-run Afghanistan which has had a series of attacks in recent months. This runs afoul of Taliban’s claims of ensuring and increasing security within Afghanistan.
Zoom out: This comes even as the second US-Uzbek strategic meeting is scheduled to take place today which will discuss issues related to Afghanistan as well.
- Meanwhile, the United States State Department Spokesperson Ned Price has condemned the attack that took place in the Afghanistan capital Kabul. Price called on the Taliban to fulfil its commitments made to the international community.