By Joshua Partlow, Updated: Friday, June 22, 2:33 PMThe Washington Post
Taliban, which has tended to marshal its limited resources to assault symbols of government or U.S. military power, such as armored convoys, ministries or Western embassies. But the insurgents have also attacked hotels, shopping centers and supermarkets in recent years.
In claiming responsibility for the attack, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid characterized the restaurant and nearby Spozhmai Hotel as a den of booze, prostitution, dancing and “wild parties” that catered to foreigners and was an affront to Islam. But Afghan police strongly disputed the description, saying the resort on Qargha Lake outside Kabul was frequented by Afghans relaxing with their families.
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John R. Allen, said the attack bore the signature of the Haqqani network, a Taliban-allied insurgent group based in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The Haqqani group, which U.S. officials believe has links to Pakistan’s intelligence service, has organized many of the most dramatic and deadly assaults in Kabul. Its ruthlessness and effectiveness have made it one of the most important enemies of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
“There is no doubt that innocent Afghan civilians were the intended targets of this unspeakably brutal attack,” Allen said in a statement.
“This is a crime against humanity because they targeted children, women and civilians picnicking at the lake,” said Gen. Mohammad Zahir, chief of the Kabul police investigation unit. “There wasn’t even a single soldier around there.”
The insurgents arrived at the Spugmay in a minivan at around 11:30 p.m. Thursday — the start of the Afghan weekend — while the restaurant was full of guests, some smoking hookahs under pine trees on the lawn, others eating lamb kebabs on the rooftop terrace. In the parking lot, the gunmen shot the manager’s brother and security guards, then charged through the front door, past a sign that read “No guns allowed.”
Tags: Taliban, Attack, Kabul, Hotel, Hostage, Drama, Bush, Laden, talk, America, Cheney, CIA, Pakistan, terrorist, Punjabi, ISI, Military, Attacks, Peace, Tokio
Location: Afghanistan (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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