Taliban warns of more attacks

Afghan authorities arrest four suspects in relation to Kabul hotel attack.

    Stoere believes he was not the Taliban's
    intended target [EPA]

    "We will carry out attacks on restaurants, guest houses and any other places frequented by foreigners, those who are here to help the invading forces," he told AFP by telephone from a secret location. "We will launch a wave of attacks."

     

    "We have jihadists in Kabul right now and soon we will carry out more attacks against military personnel and foreigners," he said, adding that they will use "new tactics that the invading forces and their supporters even can't think of".

     

    "I have not heard anything in Kabul that suggests the attack was directed against our delegation"

    Jonas Gahr Stoere, Norwegian foreign minister

    On Monday a Taliban fighter blew himself up followed by a shooting at Hotel Serena, a popular place among westerners and Kabul's only five-star and most secure hotel.

     

    Jonas Gahr Stoere, the Norwegian foreign minister, who was earlier thought to be the target of the hotel attack, said he did not think he was the intended target.

     

    'Not the target' 

     

    "I am not an investigator, but I can say that I have not heard anything in Kabul that suggests the attack was directed especially against our delegation," he said upon returning to Norway on Tuesday.

     

    "If the attack was directed against me, then it was a poor attempt. There were many other occasions on the tour that would have been better," Stoere told national broadcaster NRK.

     

    Afghan police have since arrested four men over the hotel attack, including one of the three suspected attackers who was found wearing a police uniform.

     

    Amrullah Saleh, Afghanistan's intelligence chief, said the attack was linked to a Pakistani anti-government fighter.

     

    Responding to the latest Taliban warning, security companies protecting international workers in Afghanistan on Tuesday restricted the movements of westerners, placing restaurants and stores off-limits for some.

     

    Undeterred

     

    The hotel attack, however, has not deterred some Westerners in Kabul who said they would continue to dine out.

     

    "I will still go out, but not as often as before, maybe, and the venue now is more important," Christoph Klawitter, who heads a German logistics company, said, adding that he dined out two or three times a week, sometimes at Serena Hotel.

     

    "The Serena was pretty secure, and even there they got in, so I don't know," he said. "The more security, the more likely it is I might go there."

     

    In New York, the United Nations and the Security Council issued separate statements condemning the hotel attack and called for greater efforts to stabilise and bring peace in Afghanistan.

     

    Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, said the attack "will not diminish the commitment of the international community to Afghanistan".

    SOURCE: Agencies


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