ISLAMABAD, Pakistan ( Associated Press) — The Islamic State armed group claimed responsibility Tuesday for a coordinated attack on a hotel in Afghanistan’s capital that killed three attackers and wounded at least two hotel guests after they jumped from a window. Tried to run away.
Plumes of smoke rose from the Kabul Longan Hotel, a 10-storey building in the heart of the city, on Monday afternoon, according to pictures shared on social media. Neighbors reported explosions and gunfire.
Taliban forces arrived at the scene and blocked all access roads into the central Shar-e-Nau neighborhood. A Taliban-appointed spokesman for Kabul police chief Khalid Zadran said the attack lasted several hours and was followed by an operation to clear the site.
Hours later, a regional affiliate of the Islamic State group – a staunch rival of the Taliban – claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to a statement on one of the Telegram channels used by the group, two members of the group stormed the hotel because it was frequented by diplomats and was owned by “Communist China”.
According to the statement, the attackers detonated two bags of explosives that had been left at the hotel earlier, including one in the main lounge, which set the building on fire. No evidence was presented for his claims.
There were conflicting reports on the number of casualties.
Taliban officials said three attackers were killed, while the IS group said only two of its members, whom it identified by name and photograph, had participated.
According to Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, two foreigners were injured after they jumped from windows to escape the fighting.
But the Kabul emergency hospital said in a tweet that it had reported 21 deaths, including the bodies of three people.
IS’s regional affiliate, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, has stepped up its attacks since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021.
The Associated Press reporter Maimoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report.