20 killed in Taliban attack on Afghan hotel (Lead)June 22nd, 2012 - 6:02 pm ICT by IANS
Kabul, June 22 (IANS) At least 20 people, including five militants, were killed as Afghan security forces successfully ended a 12-hour siege at a hotel outside Kabul by the Taliban, BBC reported Friday.
The gunmen, armed with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns, launched the attack on the Spozhmai Hotel in the Lake Qargha area Thursday night, and took many hostages.
Police said 15 civilians, including hotel guests, died, while all five militants were killed.
The Taliban said the hotel was used by wealthy Afghans and foreigners for “wild parties”.
Lake Qargha is situated on the outskirts of Kabul and is favoured by people for day trips and family outings.
The BBC said it was an easy target for the Taliban, as it was in a fairly remote area, with little security.
A witness named Maihan Saeedi, who left the area shortly before the attack began, told the BBC the hotel was full of civilians, including women and children.
The area was busy because it was Thursday night, the start of the Afghan weekend.
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Tags: afghans, bbc, civilians, day trips, easy target, family outings, foreigners, gunmen, hostages, hotel guests, kabul, machine guns, militants, outskirts, rocket propelled grenades, security forces, taliban, thursday night, wild parties, witness