Article by Karol Kevorkian of Environmental Issues
Within five hours of an attack on the Inter-Continental hotel in Kabul by six gunmen and suicide bombers, the combined efforts of the Afghan Army and NATO helicopters put an end to the chaos when the guests were dining late at the hotel.
One suicide bomber had blown himself up in front of the hotel while the other did the same on the first floor. This led to widespread panic as the guests (who were mainly Westerners) fled the scene for cover while two policemen and eight civilians were killed in the assault.
According to the ISAF’s Major Tim James, the Afghan forces responded rapidly by cutting the power and thus sealing off the building while fighting their way into the building using night vision equipment and flares from time to time. But when three attackers reached the roof, it was then that Afghan officials called for the assistance of the NATO-led ISAF that has been in a region for almost a decade now.
The NATO helicopters responded quickly as well, and were able to put out the threat posed by these three militants (who were wearing suicide vests) as soon as possible.
Experts link the reasons for this attack due to a meeting of the provincial governors at the hotel that was taking place that night being the target for these Taliban militants who were armed to the teeth with AK-47s, hand and rocket-propelled grenades.
Another possible reason for this attack was of its occurrence a night before the conference which will now hand over power to the Afghan security forces from the ISAF forces that have been maintaining law and order in the region.
With the US State Department condemning the attacks, this is but a reprise of the attacks made by militants on the Serena, another popular Kabul hotel, which killed eight people including an American, Norwegian and a woman from the Phillipines.