Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Aghanistan security forces at the InterContinental hotel. Witnesses said they heard bursts of gunfire and saw shooting from the roof. (Photograph: AP)

Afghanistan: Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel Attacked by Taliban Militants

Taliban militants with at least one suicide bomb attack popular Kabul hotel, with Afghan police reportedly locked in gun battles

 by The Guardian

A famous hotel in Kabul is under attack from a commando squad of Taliban militants armed with small arms, at least one suicide bomb and rocket propelled grenades.

The assault on the old Intercontinental, which is popular with Afghan politicians and foreign visitors, began late on Tuesday night when it is thought at least two receptions were taking place.

Although details about the ongoing assault are still unclear, a Taliban spokesman, contacted on the phone by journalists, was quick to claim credit for the assault.

A Kabul police chief, Mohammad Zahir, said the assault involved "several gunmen shooting", and that a "number" of police had been wounded.

According to a tweet by Bette Dam, a Dutch journalist at the scene, the attackers also appeared to be armed with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). Dam reported seeing at least four RPGs being launched from the hotel into the nearby house belonging to Mohammad Qasim Fahim, one of Afghanistan's vice-presidents.

Reuters reported that a wedding party was in progress at the 1960s hotel, which is no longer part of the Intercontinental chain, at the time of the assault.

The attack on such a well-defended hotel, which is impossible to approach without going through at least two security checkpoints, is embarrassing for the Afghan government as it prepares to take responsibility for security in Kabul province, as part of much-vaunted "transition" strategy. Afghan authorities have already been nominally in charge of the capital city for some time.

Attacks in Kabul have been relatively rare, although violence has increased since the 2 May killing of Osama bin Laden in a US raid in Pakistan, and since the start of the Taliban's annual spring offensive.

On 18 June, insurgents wearing Afghan army uniforms stormed a police station near the presidential palace and opened fire on officers, killing nine.


© 2020 The Guardian
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Darnella Frazier Receives Pulitzer Special Citation 'for Courageously Recording the Murder of George Floyd'

"Without Darnella, Derek Chauvin never would have been tried and George Floyd would have been blamed by the state for his own death."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


'We Are Sounding the Alarm': Global Left Warns Right-Wing Fujimori Trying to Steal Election in Peru

"Fujimori’s only way forward to victory is simple: annul tens of thousands of already tallied votes," warned Progressive International. "Powerful forces are organizing to deliver this outcome."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·


'Climate Denial Masquerading as Bipartisanship': Progressives Reject Latest Infrastructure Compromise

"Refusing to act on climate means selling out future generations. The future of our planet and the health of our communities are non-negotiable."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


Conservationists Applaud Biden Plan to Reverse Trump Attack on Tongass National Forest

"Even if you live thousands of miles from the Tongass National Forest, you still benefit from its unique ability to fight climate change," said Earthjustice.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


'A Crime': Venezuela Says US Sanctions Disrupting Payments to Vaccine-Sharing Facility

"The message from the U.S. is clear," said one progressive critic: "the 'global health' system is our geopolitical weapon."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·