Several foreigners killed in attack on Kabul guesthouse

Special forces retake building in Afghan capital after attack which left 14 people dead and more than dozen wounded.

    A US citizen and two Indian nationals are reported to be among 14 people killed after gunmen stormed a guesthouse in the Afghan capital as it hosted a party for foreigners, a police officer told Al Jazeera.

    Police said at least a dozen other people were wounded and 54 hostages had been rescued.

    Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said special forces from the Crisis Response Unit had retaken the building, clearing the guesthouse room by room.

    Several attackers had earlier entered the guesthouse on Wednesday in the city's upscale neighbourhood of Shar-e-Naw.

    The guesthouse is located close to a UN office and a diplomatic compound.

    Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi, who was at the scene of the attack, said gunshots were heard from inside the guesthouse when the attack occurred.

    The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

    A spokeswoman for the US embassy confirmed that one American was killed in the attack, but gave no other details.

    At least two Indian nationals were also killed and three who had lived at the guesthouse were rescued and sheltering at the India embassy, a diplomat said.

    Taliban fighters launched their spring offensive across Afghanistan late last month, stepping up attacks on government and foreign targets.

    This year's offensive marks the first fighting season in which Afghan forces are battling the Taliban without the full support of US-led foreign combat troops.

    Police had cordoned off the streets for three blocks around the site of the siege [Jennifer Glasse/Al Jazeera]

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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