at least three dead and eighteen injured after the attack on a hotel

Taliban fighters are seen on the roof of a hotel building during an exchange of fire in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, December 12, 2022.

Gunmen attacked the Longan hotel in Kabul, frequented by Chinese businessmen, on Monday, Dec. 12, killing at least three people and injuring 18, according to the NGO Emergency, which runs a hospital in the Afghan capital to which victims were transported. The death toll remains uncertain.

In a tweet, the NGO says it has received “twenty-one wounded”; Amongst them “Three were already dead” when they arrive at the hospital. However, she did not specify whether they were the attackers. The Taliban, in turn, claimed three attackers were killed and two foreigners injured.

“All hotel guests were rescued and no foreigners were killed. Only two foreign customers were injured when they jumped from the top floor.” of the establishment, said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in the evening. The attack on the hotel, located in one of the main commercial areas of the capital, ended with “The Death of Three Attackers”he added.

A Kabul police spokesperson also confirmed this “Three attackers were killed on the spot and a suspect arrested”attribute the attack to “evil elements”.

Five explosions and several burst shots

Videos posted to social media show flames on the first floor and hotel residents running to the windows. Journalists from Agence France-Presse also saw a thick plume of smoke rising from the hotel. Several witnesses reported hearing at least five explosions and several bursts of gunfire.

Smoke rises from a hotel building after an explosion and gunfire in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, December 12, 2022.

The Longan Hotel in Kabul, a multi-storey complex, is popular with Chinese businessmen who have been increasingly visiting Afghanistan since the return of the Taliban.

Beijing has not officially recognized the Taliban government, but China, which shares 47 miles of border with Afghanistan, is one of the few countries to maintain a diplomatic presence there.

Beijing has long feared that Afghanistan will become a base for separatists from the persecuted Uyghur minority, hailing from China’s highly sensitive Xinjiang border region.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers “The evidence is there: Beijing has arbitrarily detained at least a million Uyghurs in camps and prisons”

The Taliban have promised that Afghanistan will not be used as a base for Uyghur militants. In exchange, China offered them economic support and investments for the reconstruction of the country.

Maintaining stability in Afghanistan after 20 years of war with US and NATO forces is the main concern of Beijing, which wants to secure its borders and its strategic investments in Pakistan, their common neighbour.

There have been numerous bomb attacks in recent months

The Taliban are also counting on China turning one of the world’s largest copper deposits into a mining factory. An operation that would be invaluable for the recovery of the country, which is short of money and hit by international economic sanctions.

Although it has the rights to major projects in Afghanistan, including the Mes Aynak copper mine in eastern Logar province, China has not advanced any of these projects.

The Taliban say they have improved security in the country since returning to power in August 2021, but there have been numerous bombings in recent months, typically claimed by the local branch of the jihadist group Islamic State in Khorassan ( OAK).

It is not the first time that foreigners have been targeted. On December 2, a security officer was injured when shots fired at the Pakistani embassy in Kabul. The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the attack and confirmed that it targeted the head of the mission.

Two employees of the Russian embassy in Kabul and four Afghans were also killed near the building on September 5, in a suicide attack that was also claimed there by EI-K. It was the first attack on a diplomatic mission since the return of the Taliban.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Afghanistan, the return of the Taliban’s ultra-rigorism

The world with AFP

Leave a Comment