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Taliban: attackers attack a hotel in Kabul, the Afghan capital

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ISLAMABAD — A hotel welcoming foreign visitors in the Afghan capital Kabul was attacked on Monday and three of the assailants were killed, a Taliban official said.

Two foreign residents were injured when they jumped out of windows to escape, said Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. Residents reported explosions and gunshots and photos and videos posted on social media showed smoke rising from the building.

Kabul Emergency Hospital said in a tweet that there was an explosion and gunshots near a hotel about a kilometer away. “So far we have received 21 injured – 3 were already dead on arrival.”

Khalid Zadran, Taliban-appointed spokesman for Kabul’s police chief, said the attack lasted several hours. He said a “clean-up” operation was underway.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the regional affiliate of the Islamic State group – known as the Islamic State in Khorasan province and a rival to the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan – has increased its attacks since the takeover of the country by the Taliban last year.

A resident of the Shar-e Naw neighborhood where the attack occurred told The Associated Press he heard explosions and then several gunshots. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from Taliban officials.

Another resident of the Shar-e Naw neighborhood told the AP that a shooting was still going on. He said he and his family were staying inside their home about three blocks from the site of the attack. He also spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Taliban forces rushed to the area and blocked all roads leading to the site, police spokesman Zadran said.

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ABC News

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