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3 dead in attack on Chinese hotel in Kabul

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Last week, Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan was attacked inside his official residence in Kabul. Now it’s Pakistan’s ‘Iron Brother’ China’s turn to take on the music Image Courtesy AP

Kabul: At least three people were killed Monday in an attack on a hotel owned by Chinese nationals in Kabul’s Shahr-e-Naw district. No group has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack yet.

According to a statement from Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the attack on the hotel ended after Afghan security forces killed the three attackers.

“All hotel guests were rescued and no foreigners were killed. Two foreign guests were injured as a result of falling when they jumped from the hotel building to save their lives,” adds the press release.

Attacks by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and allied groups on security forces in Balochistan and Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces have become almost daily since the Afghan Taliban retook Kabul and most of the country. Afghanistan in August last year.

Last week, Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan was attacked inside his official residence in Kabul. Now it’s the turn of Iron Brother China from Pakistan to take on the music.

Several explosions and gunshots were heard Monday in the Afghan capital near a guesthouse popular with Chinese business visitors, a witness said.

Attacks on Chinese officials have become commonplace in Balochistan and Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces in recent years. However, this is the first time that Chinese officials and citizens have been targeted inside Afghanistan.

Although the Taliban claims to have improved national security since it returned to power in August last year, there have been dozens of bombings and attacks, many of which have been claimed by the local branch of the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

“It was a very loud explosion, then there was a lot of gunfire,” the witness told AFP, while local media also reported similar details.

Security officials were not immediately available to comment on the blast, which occurred in Shahr-e-naw, one of Kabul’s main commercial areas.

However, later in the day, Khaled Zadran, the Kabul Security Command spokesman, informed the media that security forces had reached the building and launched an operation to eliminate the attackers.

Tolo News quoted Khalid Zadran as saying that a complex called “Kabul Hotel”, which houses ordinary people, was attacked by “evil” elements.

Afghan media also quoted a local resident as saying that two large explosions were heard followed by several smaller explosions. He said the building is owned by Chinese nationals.

A significant number of Chinese businessmen have visited Afghanistan since the Taliban returned to power, and China maintains a full embassy even without officially recognizing the Kabul regime.

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