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Siege at Kabul hotel

Friday, June 22, 2012 - 00:51

June 22 - Afghan security forces free some hostages but siege ongoing at a popular hotel seized by Taliban militants. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Afghan security forces have freed 18 civilians and killed two militants in a siege at a popular lakeside hotel on the outskirts of Kabul on Friday (June 22). But police said the siege was still going on at 0400GMT and that the gunmen may still be holding more hostages. An unknown number of gunmen, some armed with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns, attacked the hotel in Kabul's popular Qargha Lake recreation area late on Thursday night, triggering a five-hour gunbattle. The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying wealthy Afghans and foreigners used the hotel, about 10 km (6 miles) from the centre of Kabul, to have "wild parties" in the lead-up to the Friday religious day holiday. A statement by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said Afghan civilians and police were targeted in the attack and that it had received reports of an unspecified number of casualties among civilians and police. Qargha Lake is one of Kabul's few alternatives for weekend getaways. Restaurants and hotels that dot the shore are popular with Afghan government officials and businessmen, particularly on Thursday nights.

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Siege at Kabul hotel

Friday, June 22, 2012 - 00:51