4 dead as attack on Kabul hotel used by foreigners end

A massive Taliban attack on a hotel housing foreign contractors in the Afghan capital has ended seven hours after the assault began, officials say.  

One policeman lost his life and three others were wounded but none of the hotel staff or guests were hurt in the early morning attack. 

The incident ended with one attacker killed when his vehicle detonated. Two other assailants were shot dead by security forces.

By Afghanistan’s own standards, the casualties were limited despite the unusually loud explosion.   

A truck packed with explosives struck the outer wall of the Northgate Hotel on the outskirts of Kabul at about 1.30 a.m. local time (2100 GMT Sunday) on Monday, triggering hours of clashes. 

The hotel is a heavily-guarded compound favored by foreign contractors and is equipped with blast walls, watchtowers and sniffer dogs. The compound was previously attacked in July 2013.

This is the latest in a series of assaults against foreign targets in Kabul, underlining precarious security in Afghanistan, even in the capital.

Back in June, a bus carrying Nepalese security contractors who worked for the Canadian Embassy was targeted. Also in January, an attack was conducted against Camp Baron, a residential compound for foreign contractors.

Afghanistan is gripped by insecurity 15 years after the United States and its allies attacked the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.

The war removed the Taliban from power but insecurity is still rampant despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops.

The Taliban have intensified their attacks following the appointment of their new leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.

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