Gunmen Launch Major Attack On Kabul Hotel Popular With Chinese Nationals

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Dec 12, 2022 - 09:40 PM

An unusual terror incident unfolded in the Afghan capital of Taliban on Monday, after an apparent attempt of unknown gunmen to kill a large group of Chinese nationals. Some regional sources are calling it a 'Mumbai-style' attack, in reference to the 2008 terror attack that rocked India and left at least 174 people including 26 foreign nationals dead - many of them at a large hotel.

"At least three attackers have been killed by Afghanistan’s security forces after they opened fire at a Kabul hotel popular with Chinese nationals, according to a spokesman for the ruling Taliban," Al Jazeera reports.

Video footage and photographs show the large Kabul Longan Hotel in central Kabul engulfed in smoke after several blasts and gunfire rocked the vicinity. 

A local hospital receiving the wounded said that no foreigners were killed, though there were at least 18 injured. One or more of the injured had jumped off a balcony as the attack ensued. There are conflicting reports of dead and injured in the hours following the shooters being neutralized by responding security forces.

Afghan and Taliban media reports have strongly suggested that the hotel was specifically targeted for being a known place where foreigners and especially Chinese nationals congregate. The attack and explosions were significant enough to cause a floor near the ground level to be engulfed in flames.

The three gunmen reportedly burst into the hotel and began opening fire, shooting at anyone in sight indiscriminately, as Al Jazeera describes based on Taliban officials:

The attack took place around 2:30pm local time (10:00 GMT) when armed men targeted the hotel where "common people were staying", Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran said, adding that forces were trying to secure the area.

Residents of the area said the attack was carried out at a building where Chinese and other foreigners usually stay. The shooting continued after they heard a powerful explosion, they said.

While Kabul has seen multiple bombings and terror attacks since the August 2021 US-NATO forces withdrawal from the country, most of these attacks have tended to target Afghan Shia and other religious minorities. 

One of the main groups believed behind these attacks has been ISIS-K, which since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has been a chief enemy of Taliban rule, amid intermittent factional Islamist fighting particularly in the south.