KABUL - Taliban gunmen killed nine people, including four foreigners, in an attack on a luxury hotel used by U.N. staff and prominent Afghan politicians in Kabul yesterday night, before being shot dead by security forces, witnesses and police said today. The assault on the heavily fortified Serena Hotel, which lasted some three hours, was the latest in a string of attacks by the insurgents seeking to spoil a presidential election on April 5, which would mark the first time in Afghanistan's history that one elected government hands power to another.
Four Taliban fighters snuck past security early on Thursday evening and hid inside the building for three hours before opening fire on diners inside the hotel's restaurant, according to interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.
They then battled Afghan Special Forces as terrified guests. All the Taliban gunmen were shot dead. During the attack guests crouched in bathrooms with the lights turned off as they listened to gunfire and people running up and down the hallways.