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2015 Park Palace guesthouse attack
Location Shāre Naw, Kabul, Afghanistan
Date May 13, 2015 (2015-05-13)
20:30[1] – 00:30[2] (UTC+4:30)
Target Foreign nationals
Attack type
hostage crisis, suicide attack
Deaths 14[3]
Non-fatal injuries
6[4]
Perpetrators Taliban


On 13 May 2015, three gunmen stormed the Park Palace guesthouse in Kabul, Afghanistan. The attack is believed to be part of the Taliban's annual spring offensive against NATO's presence in the country.[5]

Background

Shortly before a concert was due to begin, three gunmen stormed the Park Palace Guest House in Kabul. The event was being attended primarily by foreign nationals from Turkey and India[6] but with some US and European nationals in attendance as well.[7] The guesthouse was likely targeted as part of the Taliban's common modus operandi to attack compounds hosting foreigners, which would not mark the first such attack by the Taliban in Afghanistan.[8]

Recent attacks targeting foreigners[9] as well as the March 2015 arrest of a commander of what US and other officials formerly called the "Kabul Attack Network"[10] had previously highlighted a potential for future targeting of foreign, particularly NATO-based nationals in the anticipated spring offensive launched annually by the Taliban. The Indian ambassador to Afghanistan, Amar Sinha, was also believe to be inside the hotel at the particular time, which may have made the location more high-profile.[11]

Victims

Deaths by nationality[12]
Country Number
 Afghanistan 4
 India 4
 Pakistan 2
 Italy 1
 Kazakhstan 1
 United States 1
 United Kingdom 1
Total 14

Siege

Three gunmen entered as a party was being hosted in honour of a Canadian during a performance by an Indian national. A survivor of the attack who fled the premises initially gave media reports of up to forty foreigners possibly trapped inside, with Indian officials confirming at least six of their nationals at the guesthouse. Police officers had initially freed twenty individuals from inside the guesthouse, according to Afghan officials.[13]

Norwegian special forces from Marinejegerkommandoen[14] and Afghan security forces ended the operation shortly after midnight, killing the three assailants while rescuing over fifty people, including trapped guests and employees.[15] Five deaths had initially been confirmed by Afghan security agencies, with the death toll rising to fourteen the next day as the hotel was searched for more persons. The highly respected American aid expert Paula Kantor lost her life shortly after the attack, due to her injuries.[16]

International reactions

  •  India - After receiving news of the attack while on a three-day visit to China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was "concerned about the situation" and offered his condolences via Twitter to Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.[17]
  •  United Kingdom - After announcing a British casualty, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond was quoted as saying that "these callous acts of terrorism against innocent civilians must not be allowed to threaten the future of a more peaceful Afghanistan."[18]

See also

References

  1. Reuters, Thomson (13 May 2015). "Kabul's Park Palace Hotel siege ends, 5 confirmed dead". http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/kabul-s-park-palace-hotel-siege-ends-5-confirmed-dead-1.3073045. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  2. Harooni, Mirwais (13 May 2015). "Gunmen storm Kabul guest house, killing at least 5". https://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/13/us-afghanistan-attack-building-idUSKBN0NY23T20150513. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  3. "Death toll in Kabul hotel attack rises to 14; Taliban claims responsibility". 14 May 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/14/asia/afghanistan-kabul-hotel-attack/. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  4. Potter, Mitch (13 May 2015). "Afghan guesthouse siege ends with 5 dead, 6 wounded". https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/05/13/gunmen-storm-afghan-hotel-hosting-party-for-foreigners.html. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  5. "Attack by gunmen on Kabul hotel ends with five dead". 13 May 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/13/attack-by-gunmen-on-kabul-hotel-leaves-at-least-one-dead. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  6. Popalzai, Masoud (13 May 2015). "Gunmen storm Kabul hotel; witness reports trapped guests". http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/13/asia/afghanistan-kabul-hotel-siege/. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  7. "'Dozens held' in Kabul hotel attack". 13 May 2015. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/dozens-held-in-kabul-hotel-attack-31220445.html. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  8. Latifi, Ali (19 November 2014). "Taliban attacks housing complex for foreigners in Afghanistan". http://www.latimes.com/world/afghanistan-pakistan/la-fg-afghanistan-attack-foreigners-2014119-story.html. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  9. Rahim, Fazul (13 May 2015). "Afghanistan attack, suicide bomber attack NATO convoy in Kabul". http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/afghanistan-attack-suicide-bomber-attacks-nato-convoy-kabul-n313086. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  10. Roggio, Bill (13 May 2015). "Afghan intel captures Taliban commander involved in targeting 'foreigners' in Kabul". http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/03/afghan-intel-captures-taliban-commander-involved-in-targeting-foreigners-in-kabul.php. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  11. "Taliban attacks Kabul guesthouse, 4 Indians and an American among 14 killed.". 14 May 2015. http://indianexpress.com/article/world/asia/kabul-attack-guesthouse-siege-ends-with-5-dead-6-wounded/. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  12. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32732083
  13. O'Donnell, Lynne; Shah, Amir (13 May 2015). "Gunmen storm Afghan guesthouse hosting party for foreigners". https://news.yahoo.com/gunmen-attack-government-compound-afghanistant-kill-7-093837764.html. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  14. https://forsvaret.no/aktuelt/reddet-49-mennesker
  15. "American among five killed after gunmen storm concert for foreign officials in Afghanistan". 13 May 2015. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3080793/US-citizen-five-people-killed-Afghanistan-gunmen-stormed-occupied-hotel-ahead-concert-foreign-officials.html. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  16. https://forsvaret.no/aktuelt/reddet-49-mennesker
  17. "Taliban attacks Kabul guesthouse, 4 Indians and an American among 14 killed". 14 May 2015. http://indianexpress.com/article/world/asia/kabul-attack-guesthouse-siege-ends-with-5-dead-6-wounded/. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  18. "Death toll in Kabul hotel attack rises to 14; Taliban claims responsibility". 14 May 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/14/asia/afghanistan-kabul-hotel-attack/. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 


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