Taliban attack on foreign workers’ compound ends, three gunmen dead

Three Taliban attackers armed with suicide bomb vests and assault rifles killed two people, one a foreigner, during a raid on a guesthouse near the Afghan parliament Saturday. It is the latest attack in the capital as NATO troops withdraw from the country. Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi did not identify the dead, only saying they worked for a foreign aid group he declined to name. Security forces rescued eight people held hostage by the attackers during the assault. After storming the building in a residential suburb in west Kabul, one of the attackers detonated an explosives-packed suicide vest and security forces shot dead the other two, Sediqqi and Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said.

We are afraid the attackers may have taken some people hostage. We are therefore acting very cautiously to avoid casualties.

Qadam Shah Shaheem, commander of the Afghan army’s 111 Military Corps Kabul

The Taliban claimed the attack in a statement, saying they targeted “a secret missionary centre”. One witness, Samir Noorzai, said Europeans who worked as consultants for the Afghan government lived there. Other said it was the home of Christian missionaries. The Taliban have waged a series of large-scale attacks on Kabul in recent days, including an assault in the upscale Wazir Akbar Khan district home to embassies and international agencies, and the suicide bombing of a British embassy vehicle. There have been about a dozen attacks in the past two weeks alone.