Taliban Kill Seven in Kabul Spanish Embassy Guest House Raidby
Spanish policemen and Afghans killed in nine-hour siege
Afghan forces killed all three heavily-armed attackers
Taliban fighters attacked a guest house belonging to the Spanish embassy in Kabul, killing six policemen and a civilian during a nine-hour siege that ended early Saturday morning.
Militants entered the property by targeting a gate with vehicle-laden explosives and Afghan forces began engaging with them, according to Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahed. All three of the heavily armed attackers were killed and about 50 people including some foreigners were helped to safety, he said. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed claimed responsibility in an e-mailed statement.
Two of the slain were Spanish police officers and the other victims were Afghans, according to an online statement posted on Spain’s Interior Ministry website. The Spaniards, identified as 48-year-old Isidro Sanmartín Gabino Hernandez and Jorge Garcia Tudela (no age given). died of wounds from the attack, it said. Nine Afghan civilians were injured in the incident, police spokesman Mujahed said.
The attack occurred in the Sherpur area, where foreign embassies, homes to high-ranking Afghan politicians and several foreign guesthouses are located. All staff of the Spanish embassy were evacuated after the attack, according to the statement.
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the U.S. government are trying to draw the Taliban back into peace talks 14 years after an invasion that has killed more than 2,200 American soldiers and cost taxpayers more than $700 billion.
The attack comes three days after as many as 14 Taliban militants stormed the international airport of Kandahar in the south, killing 38 civilians and more than 10 Afghan soldiers and policemen.