Kabul Gunmen Sit at Table, Order Juice, Attack

9 killed, including 4 foreigners, at the heavily fortified Serena Hotel
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2014 3:22 AM CDT
Taliban Kill Foreigners in Kabul Hotel Attack
Afghan National Army soldiers arrive at the site of a gun battle in Serena Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan yesterday.   (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

One of the few places in Kabul where foreign officials are still permitted to dine was the target of a ferocious Taliban attack yesterday that left nine people dead, including foreigners from Canada, New Zealand, India, and Pakistan. NBC News reports they were largely killed execution-style. Officials say four gunmen, all under 18, hid in a bathroom at the heavily fortified Serena Hotel for hours, CNN reports; according to a waiter, they then sat at a table, ordered apple juice, and then attacked. The AP notes authorities appeared stunned that the militants had managed to get through the tight security at the Serena hotel—considered one of the safest places to stay in Kabul.

All four attackers were killed during an hours-long battle with Afghan security forces. Some 18 United Nations staff were in the hotel during the attack, but the UN says they have all been accounted for, reports Reuters. Officials are probing how the attackers made it past hotel security, which included metal detectors and dozens of armed guards; their pistols were reportedly hidden in their socks. In a separate attack yesterday, at least 10 police officers were killed in the eastern city of Jalalabad in an attack that began with a suicide bombing outside the city's police station, the AP reports. (Read more Kabul stories.)

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