Kim Gamel And Amir Shah
Bloomberg Business Week
March 21, 2014
The luxury hotel was considered one of the safest spots in the Afghan capital. Yet four gunmen walked in, proceeded to the restaurant and pulled out pistols hidden in their shoes. They killed nine people, including an AFP journalist, his wife and two children who were shot in the head.
The Taliban boasted that the bold assault Thursday night shows they can strike anywhere, and Afghan officials issued a string of conflicting statements as they scrambled to explain how the attackers penetrated the Serena Hotel’s tight security.
It was a major embarrassment to government security forces less than two weeks before national elections and came on the heels of an uptick in bombings and shootings against foreigners in the capital, something that had been relatively rare. A Swedish journalist was shot on the street earlier this month, and a Lebanese restaurant popular with foreigners was attacked by a suicide bomber and gunmen in January.