Taliban attacks hotel in Kabul, seven killed

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nowegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre was the likely target for the terrorist attack, according to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Image: Harry Wad.

The militant Islamist group Taliban attacked a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan last night. Seven people, including a U.S. citizen and a journalist from the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet were killed. Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre is staying at the hotel, but was unharmed.

The terrorists attacked the five-star Serena Hotel with AK-47 assault rifles, suicide vests, and grenades. The likely target was Mr. Gahr Støre and a Norwegian delegation, who evacuated into the cellar. U.S. military forced rushed to the scene, and managed to kill at least one of the attackers.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility shortly after the attack. Norway has some 500 soldiers deployed to Afghanistan.

White House press secretary Dana Perino described the attackers as "deliberate, patient people who will murder innocents", and said that the attack "underscores the reason we have to stay on the offense against the extremists in places like Kabul but also in other places around the world."