Taliban militants have killed nine people, including at least six
United Nations workers, in an attack on an international guesthouse in
the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Local officials say three gunmen wearing suicide vests and disguised as
police stormed the guesthouse, which is used by U.N. staff, around dawn
Wednesday. They battled security forces for two hours before they
detonated their explosives or were shot dead.
Two Afghan security guards and an Afghan civilian also were killed in the attack. Nine other U.N. employees were wounded.
A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it a
"first step" to disrupt next month's presidential run-off election.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the top U.N. official in
Afghanistan, Kai Eide, condemned the attack. Mr. Ban called it a
"despicable and brutal killing."
The U.S. embassy in Kabul said attacking civilian workers will not
lessen U.S. support for the Afghan people and their election process.
Militants Wednesday also fired rockets on an international luxury hotel in Kabul. No casualties were reported.
Wednesday's assault comes a day after a series of bomb blasts in
southern Afghanistan killed eight Americans, making October the
deadliest month for U.S. troops in the eight-year war.