Six UN workers have been killed by the Taliban in an attack on their guesthouse in Kabul. Militants stormed the residence, killing a total of 12 people.
Afghan forces exchanged gunfire for hours with militants inside the house. Wounded and terrified guests ran from scene. In a separate incident, rockets were fired at a foreign owned hotel in the Afghan capital, forcing 100 guests into a bunker. The timing of these two attacks suggests a coordinated assault against foreigners and international forces in the country. Such a blatant attack on the thousands of UN staff in Afghanistan is unprecedented. The UN Special Representative for Afghanistan, Kai Eide said: “For the UN in Afghanistan this is of course a very dark day. I strongly condemn the attack this morning against the UN guest house here in Kabul for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility.” This upsurge in violence signals the Taliban’s determination to disrupt the country’s democratic process. They have vowed to stage attacks in the run-up to the November 7, presidential election. The attacks raise questions about security during the polls. NATO reported a 50 per cent rise in the level of violence on voting day in August. President Obama is considering sending another 40,000 US troops to combat the growing insurgency.