Suicide Bombers Kill 17 in Downtown Kabul
Taliban claims responsibility for attack targeting Indians
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2010 4:48 AM CST
An Afghan police officer looks at the body of an unidentified man lying in the rubble at the scene of an explosion at a guesthouse in Kabul today.   (AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud)
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(Newser) – At least 17 people were killed when gunmen and five suicide bombers struck in the heart of Kabul today. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attacks, which targeted a major shopping center and two guesthouses used mainly by Indian embassy employees and other foreigners working in the Afghan capital. At least four Indian citizens are among the dead, Reuters reports.

Gun battles between militants and police continued for hours after the initial explosions. "I saw foreigners crying and shouting," one hotel worker told AP. "It was a very bad situation inside. God helped me, otherwise I would be dead. I saw one suicide bomber blowing himself up." The attack came as the NATO offensive against the Taliban's Marjah stronghold ended its second week.