Kabul, Dec 12 (EFE).- A group of armed assailants on Monday stormed a hotel frequented by Chinese citizens in Kabul, while the security forces have been carrying out an operation against them.
“Today afternoon some wicked people attacked Kabul Hotel (…) the security forces have reached the area and an operation is underway,” Kabul police spokesperson Khalid Zadran told EFE.
The restaurant at the hotel, located in the Police District 4, serves Chinese food and is popular among citizens of the country, a nearby resident and eyewitness to the attack, who asked not to be named, told EFE.
Afghan broadcaster Ariana News aired videos, shared on social media, showing the hotel shrouded in smoke and flames from one of the floors following a supposed explosion by the attackers, which, however, the authorities are yet to confirm.
No insurgent group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
Over the last one year, there has been an increase in attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State in urban areas of Afghanistan.
Since the Taliban came to power in August last year, the Afghan branch of the IS has emerged as the main threat to the country’s stability, although the fundamentalists deny that the armed organization poses a security challenge to them.
The IS claimed responsibility for an attack on Dec.2, in which two snipers attacked the head of the Pakistani embassy and his guards while inside the diplomatic premises.
A security guard was seriously injured, and the Taliban government later reported the arrest of the alleged perpetrator and IS member in what was a swift reaction by the Islamist forces under pressure from Islamabad.
In September, the IS also claimed responsibility for an attack near the Russian embassy in Kabul that in which an official and a security guard from the diplomatic mission were killed.
The Taliban, for their part, have carried out operations in several parts of the country against the IS as a part of its promise of security guarantees made before the US withdrawal, when they claimed that the areas under their control were free from terrorism and crime. EFE