Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry due in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • Video: No investigation apparent at site of downed Malaysian plane

    Read more

  • Washington Post correspondent and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Deadly suicide blasts target guesthouses in central Kabul

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-26

Taliban suicide bombers targeted guesthouses in the heart of Kabul on Friday, killing at least 16 people. Nine Indian nationals, a French film-maker and an Italian diplomat were confirmed killed in the blast as well as several police.

AFP - Taliban suicide bombers targeted guesthouses in downtown Kabul on Friday, killing 16 people including Westerners and Indians in one of the deadliest attacks on foreigners in the Afghan capital.
   
The Islamist militia, which is waging a bitter insurgency against the US-backed Afghan government and more than 121,000 foreign troops based in the country, claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to AFP.
   
A car bomb exploded and two smaller blasts resounded over downtown Kabul, heralding what police called a "well-planned and coordinated attack" soon after dawn as Afghanistan commemorated the birth of the Muslim prophet Mohammed.
   
The attacks killed 16 people, including an Italian diplomatic adviser and a French film maker who helped set up a studio for young Afghan directors, officials said. Another 38 people, including eight foreigners, were wounded.
   
New Delhi confirmed that nine Indians, including government officials, also died in the third assault on Indian interests in Afghanistan in 20 months.
   
Afghan President Hamid Karzai "condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Kabul's Shar-I-Naw area that killed and injured many civilians," his office said.
   
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the first foreign head of government to condemn the bombings, was to speak to Karzai later Friday.
   
The assault took place near the Park Residence Hotel in the Shar-I-Naw commercial district, where terrified people escaped through windows and climbed down scaffolding, said an AFP photographer and a reporter.
   
Shattered glass carpeted the road outside the hotel, frequented by Westerners and where many employees come from India. AFP reporters saw at least four bodies, including one in a police uniform, brought out of the building.
   
At least three attackers armed with guns and explosives targeted the Park Residence and the smaller Aria guesthouse on a nearby side street.
   
"The first explosion took place in front of the Aria... targeting mostly doctors. Subsequently two terrorists, one wearing a suicide vest, entered the Park Residence," said Kabul police chief General Abdul Rahman Rahman.
   
After a shootout with the attackers, police stormed into a room where one bomber detonated his explosives, killing three police, Rahman said.
   
The second bomber was killed by police, he added.
   
Witnesses said the first explosion destroyed a car, threw the engine about 15 metres (yards) away, gouging out a huge crater in the road outside the Aria and spraying body parts around the site.
   
The Italian man was killed after giving information by telephone to Afghan police that enabled four other Italians to be evacuated to safety, police said.
   
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the dead man was a diplomatic adviser to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
   
Attacks on guesthouses used by foreigners have increased in recent months. Five UN staff were killed in a similar assault on October 28. Eight people were killed in a suicide attack near a guesthouse and hotel on December 15.
   
Five Indians were among more than 60 people killed in a massive car bomb attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul on July 7, 2008.
   
Friday's assault was the worst attack in Kabul since thousands of US-led troops launched a major offensive to capture a key Taliban bastion in southern Afghanistan as part of a new strategy to end a war now in its ninth year.
   
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed outrage, while the UN mission in Kabul and the US and Canadian embassies also condemned the attacks.
   
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, telephoned AFP to claim responsibility for the attack.
   
The assault came one day after the Afghan flag was raised over the town of Marjah, the focus of the offensive in southern Afghanistan.
   
Around 15,000 US, Afghan and NATO forces are pursuing Operation Mushtarak (Together), billed as the biggest military campaign since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban regime.
   
The operation is aimed at seizing control of the Marjah and Nad Ali areas of Helmand from the Taliban and drug lords, in the first big test of US President Barack Obama's surge of thousands more troops.

 

Date created : 2010-02-26

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Town of Marjah declares 'historic' victory against Taliban

    Read more

  • PAKISTAN

    Authorities capture senior Taliban figure

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Quietly, a critical new electoral reform draft makes the rounds

    Read more

COMMENT(S)