14 Killed in Afghanistan as Taliban Attacks Kabul Hotel

May 14, 2015

Photo: Mohammad Ismail—Reuters

By Rishi Iyengar

Fourteen people, including 9 foreigners, were killed in an attack in Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul on Wednesday night after at least one gunman opened fire on a guesthouse, a government official said.

Fifty-four other hostages were rescued in the attack that only ended in the early hours of Thursday morning, the Associated Press reported. The assault began at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, when a gunman or gunmen opened fire at the restaurant of the Park Palace Hotel, according to Kabul’s chief of police General Abdul Rahman Rahimi.

U.S. embassy spokesperson Monica Cummings told the AP in an email that a still unidentified U.S. citizen had been killed.

At least two of the other victims were Indian, and three other Indians were rescued and were being sheltered at the Indian embassy, a diplomat told Reuters.

The Taliban claimed responsibility on Thursday, with the militant group’s spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid claiming in an email to media that they had targeted the hotel because of the presence of Americans and other foreigners there.

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31 comments on “14 Killed in Afghanistan as Taliban Attacks Kabul Hotel

  • That might be due to American imperialism, but…,


    just in 2015.

    How does one explain that ceaseless killing far predating 2015?

    ( you need to pick up the entire link to see it. The blue area takes you to yahoo! )

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  • I used to subscribe to the notion that one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter but I quickly saw that for the excuse that it was.

    In the 10 years that Russia occupied Afghanistan between 1979 – 1989 Car bombs and suicide attacks were if anything, not heard of.

    Read ‘A Thousand splendid suns’, it’s a good narrative on the end of the Soviet Occupation and the rise of the Taliban.

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  • After the Berlin Wall fell, there was a joker who wrote a book about “The End of History”. Of course he was wrong, but assuming that he was right, we now have the world of “free enterprise” fanatics with access to deadly weapons, spraying hotel guests with gunfire.

    God bless capitalism !

    ( Not !)

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  • In one hundred years, if there is anyone left capable and motivated to write a history of the world, who will they rate as having caused the most destruction on planet earth, the Afghan Taliban or the American Taliban. Will they rate the world wide effect of the American Taliban as worse, than the local region effect of the Afghan Taliban?

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  • Agree. Two wrongs don’t make a right. But that doesn’t absolve America from the damage caused by decades of decisions based on religion, no matter how wrong the Afghan Taliban is. Just like it doesn’t absolve any government that makes decisions based on religion instead of evidence.

    Two examples. America’s attitude to Israel shaped by the Christian Fundamentalists who believe the rapture is coming and can only occur if a “Greater Israel” is created which then sends to world into the final Armageddon world war. Hardly the basis for a Foreign Affairs policy yet this is what has happened. If a just peace had been achieved after the 1967 war, where would the motivation for 50 years of Arab / Muslim terrorism motivated by this American foreign policy. Another screaming example is American foreign aid to Africa, as long as it doesn’t involve family planning. Aids? Over population? All motivated by christian thinking influencing US government decisions.

    America is no solo player. All world governments need to be held account for making decisions based on religious dogma, instead of evidence.

    Ryan. I know you are an ardent supporter of the US. But another question. In 2015, is Nationalism a force for good in the modern world?

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  • Massoud was hugely popular in Afghanistan. He fought for democracy and women’s rights. His photo is displayed widely in the country. He was a democratic realist too knowing that the Taliban (though two thirds of their fighting number at the time were Pakistanis bought and paid for with Saudi money) would need full democratic representation.

    (Just grok’d your moniker, ad nauseam. I never understood why nihilists had the motivation to talk about it, or, well, anything.)

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  • Hi David, I’ve all ways liked your post and it’s hard for me to look at a image of Brian and feel like saying anything negative but I think you’ve painted me as someone I’m not with out any evidence to do so. I’m curious what statements you could find of me in the past that would show I’m a “ardent” supporter of America, whatever that means.

    First off my initial comment was about the Taliban, I think they suck. I never said anything about American policy in the middle east, but if you want to know my opinion I think it’s been horrible. The US is to blame for a lot of the problems there, but that doesn’t excuse the Taliban for murdering little girls who want to learn how to read.

    And as far as being a ardent US supporter, that’s news to me. I live in Texas, I’m 32 and I’ve been fighting and supporting the rights of women, gay people, minorities, the non-religious, and people that happen to live outside the US for years, and in a place where it actually takes some guts.

    But maybe I did break a cardinal rule here. Every once in a while, literally every two or three years I point out that while America has it’s problems, it’s not North Korea. Pointing out paradoxes like the fact that while a genius country like…..I don’t know… Australia has 13 Nobel prizes, dumb old America has 353. When ever I take up for the states it’s only when we’re accused of being a land of morons and I don’t bother time 99 out of a 100 times. I don’t think that’s super strident.

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  • Ryan, I pick on the US all the time. And its nice, every once in a while to find an American to apologise to. (There are plenty (probably most) to apologise to here. The occasions for it, though, are fewer.)

    I had in the sixties and seventies and have now the highest hopes for the US carrying the torch of reason and a morally driven politics for us. Hitch could see the potential of its deep foundations. It just looks very grim at the moment. The orcs are massing for a final push…..

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  • If I was in Texas I’d be right alongside. Maybe I focused too much on the defense of America. Apologies. It seems I got you wrong.

    I see America on the knife edge. They could fall on the side of the rational and lead the world, or they could fall the other way and would truly become the American Taliban, which would be a tragedy.

    I would like my passport to read, “Citizen of Planet Earth”. I try to think about things on earth while looking at the Apollo 11 picture of Earth rise over the moon’s horizon. I have this crazy idea that if we could just shelve our nationalism for a while, with its stupid petty territorial wars led by primitive stone age warrior minds, things might be better. Down here in Australia at the bottom of the world, when we look up, all we see are @#@$holes.

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  • Hi Phil, we deserve our medicine, to a point. I have a 11 year old kid sister and her and her friends fill me with hope. They might be this countries greatest generation.

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  • BTW Ryan. How come you’ve got access to the internet in Texas. I thought you were about to be invaded by the US army and interred. Marshall Law!!! Do you have a secret uplink in the prison camp.

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  • BTW Ryan. How come you’ve got access to the internet in Texas. I thought you were about to be invaded by the US army and interred. Marshall Law!!! Do you have a secret uplink in the prison camp.

    Well our brave governor Greg Abbott protected us from those horrible military men (who were god’s army before a certain person became president) by sending the state militia to watch them.

    Seriously though, very embarrassing.

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  • First we need you Europeans, Brits and Aussies to rid yourselves of crazy “Texas” stereotypes about all Americans. Left of center and moderate Americans are now disillusioned against any further large scale military ventures in the Arab Middle east or Central Asia and will either not support them or subvert any policies on a majority basis to reverse them. Hillary, our pre-anointed next president, will probably yield to her democratic base and popular opinion and not project the American military outside of drone strikes and special forces raids while “talking tough” like the phony old hen-hawk she is.

    By the way, The EU, Australia, New Zealand, Canada love to talk in abstractions about rational engagement with geopolitical crises while limited national budgets render them the cheapest big mouths on Earth. As soon as you loose one mother’s son or are asked to contribute significant sums of MONEY to humanitarian causes you cry pacifism or poor.

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  • The Taliban are opportunistic in the extreme and so naturally they filled the void which was left after the Russians withdrew; they do the same everywhere.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Islam, in any of its manifestations, will rule the roost in the absence of a political dictatorship.

    Nasser knew that, as did the Shah of Persia, Saddam, Gaddafi and the Colonial powers before them, hence the European/American placeman policies.

    But, it all floats on a sea of black gold.

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  • 23
    Pinball1970 says:

    “As soon as you loose one mother’s son or are asked to contribute significant sums of MONEY to humanitarian causes you cry pacifism or poor.”

    I don’t think that is particularly fair.

    The UKs involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, besides costing lives and money (we do not have as you pointed out), has opened us up to potential targets for terror attacks.

    The EU also now has to deal with the large influx refugees from these countries, many of them dying as result of being packed like sardines in small boats to get to Europe.

    These events have destabilized communities and raised racial tension across Europe.

    Attacks on muslims, anti Semitism neo fascism and radicalisation of youngsters are some of the consequences.

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  • Pinball. Great comment. “It’s not fair.” Texas stereotypes of all Americans, and dismissing (especially) the UKs involvement etc. are not fair. Let’s try to understand the complexities of history though the challenges won’t be met in our lifetimes. Thanks.

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  • 26
    ad nauseam says:

    It’s not about what the majority of the world thinks. To some, the Taliban is fighting for their freedom.
    They just have a different idea of freedom than the west.

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  • One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.


    The Taliban were largely founded by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 1994.[52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59] The ISI used the Taliban to establish a regime in Afghanistan which would be favorable to Pakistan, as they were trying to gain strategic depth.[60][61][62][63] Since the creation of the Taliban, the ISI and the Pakistani military have given financial, logistical and military support.[64][65][66]

    from wiki


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  • 28
    ad nauseam says:

    Am I a nihilist? I wasn’t aware of it…

    And on the flip side, there would be nothing to stop a nihilist from doing anything either right?

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  • Texas stereotypes of all Americans, and dismissing (especially) the UKs involvement etc. are not fair.

    Can I make the point that stereotypes of Texas period aren’t completely fair. Pretty fair, but not completely.

    Yeah, there are a lot of culturally isolated idiots, a lot of them. But there are places like Austin( which almost everybody that’s ever been there loves), a liberal city. Big cities like Dallas and metropolitan cities like Houston.

    I sometimes wonder what people’s impression from outside the US, and even in the northern parts of the states are about a city like Houston. Did you know it’s the tenth most diverse city in the country? That we actually have art museums and symphony halls here. The best cancer research and treatment center in the world, and nasa. We have one of the few openly gay mayors of a major city in the whole Untied States and she’s been elected three times now.

    Yeah I know that large parts of Texas suck, but I’m just trying to work you down from the opinion that 99 percent suck, with a 1 percent margin of error, to something like 67 percent suck, with 33 percent being tolerable.

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  • 31
    Pinball1970 says:

    Austin is home to the Atheist experience TV show too, not a programme I would have put in that part of America.

    It is part of modern rock and roll atheism I have seen here and there that kids may find interesting and get them talking.

    Nothing wrong with that.

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