Attack on Hotel in Kabul by Taliban
This sounds an awful lot like Mumbai Redux. A band of 7 Taliban - some wearing suicide vests - broke into the tightly guarded Intercontinental Hotel on Tuesday and killed at least 11 guests and security people before they were killed themselves.
"We are still searching the hotel; the death number may increase," said Chief of Criminal Investigations Mohammad Zahir on Wednesday morning. Twelve people were wounded or injured, he added.
"The situation is secure," Interior Minister Bismullah Khan said. By then, the top floor of the hotel was ablaze, but within a couple of hours, the flames were gone, though smoke continued to rise from the wreckage.
Two security personnel were killed in the attack, he said.
By dawn, security forces were allowing reporters to approach the hotel, and some guests were seen departing.
I am doubtful we will ever get a full accounting of casualties from the Afghan government. Considering the fact that the attackers were going door to door in the hotel, it is likely the death toll is much higher. There was also a report that a suicide bomber had detonated in the crowded hotel restaurant.
The attack came one day before a scheduled press conference at the hotel where plans for the formal handoff of security to Afghan forces was to be announced. There was also this:
The incident came on the same day that Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell announced that NATO and other members of the international community involved in Afghanistan have decided to increase the number of security forces in the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police to 352,000.
The current number of Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police is about 300,000, the commander of the NATO training mission in Afghanistan and commanding general of the Combined Security Transition Command told the Atlanta Press Club.
The increased number will be sufficient to give the Afghans security without coalition forces having to do it, he said.
From the looks of things, they're going to need even more.