The savage terror attack at a hotel in Kabul has elicited strong outrage from India, one of major development partners of Afghanistan.In a sharply-worded statement, India has strongly condemned the attack and voiced grave concern at the spread of terror by the “internationally proscribed Haqqani Network” that is enjoying safe haven in the neighbourhood without naming Pakistan, which has called for greater cooperation in combatting terror.
It was 14 hours of terror that kept Afghan security forces and Norwegian troops engaged in a fierce encounter with gunmen who attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul on January 21. With Taliban claiming responsibility, this is a major attack against the international community after the March 2014 similar attack on another hotel in Kabul that left 9 people dead.Among the 18 people reported to have been killed, 14 were foreigners including 2 Venezuelan pilots of the privately owned airline KamAir, six Ukrainians and one Kazakh national. By the time the last of the six attackers were gunned down and 150 people rescued, six security forces were left severely wounded. Among the victims was Mufti Ahmad Farzan, a member of the High Peace Council, who was engaged in reconciliation efforts with the Taliban.
In recent times there has been a spurt in terror attacks in Afghanistan that continue to hinder the peace process. Just a few days ago Taliban militants stormed a village in the northern province of Balkh, searching and killing police officers. In another attack in Herat at least 8 civilians lost their lives when a roadside mine went off.
In a statement Afghan interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said that information obtained so far reveals that the attackers may have already been inside the hotel before the attack was launched. In their statement the Taliban confirmed that the attack, originally planned for last week, was postponed due to a wedding on the premises that would have led to heavy civilian casualties.
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