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Shootings, explosion in Kabul hotel housing foreigners – Taliban sources


2022-12-12T12:23:18Z

Armed men opened fire on Monday inside a hotel in central Kabul that housed some foreigners, two Taliban sources told Reuters, in the latest violence in Afghanistan as it tries to stabilise after the withdrawal of U.S.-led foreign forces.

The firing was continuing in the hotel in the Shahr-e-Naw area and a fire broke out on one of the floors, the sources said, adding that they expect casualties.

A video posted on Twitter by a journalist in Kabul showed smoke billowing out of a multi-storey building, with one lower floor on fire. The video could not be independently verified by Reuters.

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.

A spokesman of the Taliban-run Afghan administration, Zabihullah Mujahid, confirmed to Reuters of an attack in Kabul, but said they would not be able to provide more information at this stage.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that the attack took place near a Chinese guesthouse and that its embassy in Kabul was closely monitoring the situation.

The embassy did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Several bombing and shooting attacks have taken place in Afghanistan in recent months, some of which have been claimed by Islamic State militants.

The Islamist Taliban, who seized power after U.S.-led foreign forces withdrew in August 2021, have said they are focused on securing the country.

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View of a hotel fire in Shahr-e-Naw neighborhood where gunfire was also heard in Kabul, Afghanistan December 12, 2022 in this still image from social media video obtained by REUTERS

View of a hotel fire in Shahr-e-Naw neighborhood where gunfire was also heard in Kabul, Afghanistan December 12, 2022 in this still image from social media video obtained by REUTERS

View of a hotel fire in Shahr-e-Naw neighborhood where gunfire was also heard in Kabul, Afghanistan December 12, 2022 in this still image from social media video obtained by REUTERS