Gunmen open fire in luxury hotel in Afghan capital
by Amir Shah, Associated Press
March 20, 2014 03:15 PM | 438 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Afghan police officers arrive to the scene after a multi-pronged attack on a police station in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Taliban insurgents staged the attack, using a suicide bomber and gunmen to lay siege to the station, government officials said. Two remotely detonated bombs also exploded nearby. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan police officers arrive to the scene after a multi-pronged attack on a police station in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Taliban insurgents staged the attack, using a suicide bomber and gunmen to lay siege to the station, government officials said. Two remotely detonated bombs also exploded nearby. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
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An Afghan Army soldier inspects bullet proof vests found after Taliban insurgents staged a multi-pronged attack on a police station in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Taliban insurgents staged the attack, using a suicide bomber and gunmen to lay siege to the station, government officials said. Two remotely detonated bombs also exploded nearby. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
An Afghan Army soldier inspects bullet proof vests found after Taliban insurgents staged a multi-pronged attack on a police station in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Taliban insurgents staged the attack, using a suicide bomber and gunmen to lay siege to the station, government officials said. Two remotely detonated bombs also exploded nearby. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
slideshow
Afghan Army and police search through a police station after the Taliban staged a multi-pronged attack on a police station in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Taliban insurgents staged the attack, using a suicide bomber and gunmen to lay siege to the station, government officials said. Two remotely detonated bombs also exploded nearby. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan Army and police search through a police station after the Taliban staged a multi-pronged attack on a police station in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Taliban insurgents staged the attack, using a suicide bomber and gunmen to lay siege to the station, government officials said. Two remotely detonated bombs also exploded nearby. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Gunmen opened fire in a luxury hotel frequented by foreigners in the Afghan capital Thursday, but no guests or staff members were wounded and security forces surrounded the men, killing three and trapping a fourth, officials said.

The standoff began Thursday night and bursts of gunfire could be heard from inside the Serena hotel as Afghan troops cordoned off the area.

A hotel worker named Gulam Ali told his brother over his cellphone that all the guests and staff members had taken refuge in the basement.

"Everybody's fine," he told his brother Mohammed Nabil, who let an Associated Press reporter listen to the conversation. "Foreigners, workers, everybody is in the basement. A quick-reaction unit from the police entered the Serena and the hotel is surrounded."

A senior intelligence official said the gunmen sneaked pistols into the heavily guarded hotel by hiding them in their socks. That official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi told the AP that three of the gunmen had been killed and another was trapped in a bathroom by security forces.

The Serena is considered one of the safest places to stay in Kabul. To enter the hotel, guests must pass through an exterior gate and are searched at a checkpoint with a metal detector.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban militants have threatened to disrupt upcoming elections, and many observers are staying at the hotel.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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