Five Taliban gunmen attacked a lakeside hotel in Afghanistan, killing at least 18 people and taking 50 others hostage in a seizure that lasted several hours.
The militants attacked exclusive Spozhmai hotel with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns late Thursday. US and Afghan forces responded and ended up killing all five militants, but not before at least 18 people were killed.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, in which mostly wealthy Afghans died, although insurgents said the hotel was chosen because it was frequented by foreigners and government authorities. They also claimed the hotel was used for “prostitution, alcohol and immorality.”
Violence across Afghanistan has surged in recent days, with three US soldiers and dozens civilians killed in successive attacks, in areas with a high concentration of NATO troops. Despite false claims by the Obama administration that the tide of war is receding, the insurgency is as robust as ever and making clear over and over again what a failure the US war there has been.
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