UN Staffers Among Dozen Killed in Kabul Attacks

Taliban claims responsibility for attacks on guest houses
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2009 5:11 AM CDT
An Afghan police officer carries an injured unidentified German national as smoke bellows from the site of the attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, today.   (AP Photo/ Gemunu Amarasinghe)
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(Newser) – Six United Nations staffers and six others were killed today when militants armed with automatic weapons, grenades, and suicide vests stormed two guest houses in downtown Kabul where international workers were sleeping. One of the dead was American. The nationalities of the others was not immediately known. Rockets hit another hotel in the capital popular with foreigners, forcing 100 guests into an underground bunker, reports Reuters.

"We woke to explosions and shooting, and then heard women screaming and crying," said a neighbor of one of the guest houses. Security guards rebuffed attackers at one guest house, but the militants seized another and took hostages until security forces regained control, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Taliban—which has vowed to attack those working on next month's runoff election—claimed responsibility for the attacks and warned of new assaults.