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Taliban Militants Attack Kabul Hotel, Killing 9

Four gunmen attacked a luxury hotel frequented by foreigners in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, killing nine people before being killed themselves. Two security guards were also wounded.

The assailants were killed after a standoff in the Serena hotel's restaurant.

Afghan authorities are trying to figure out how the militants were able to carry out the attack. NPR's Sean Carberry tells our Newscast unit the four men had pistols stuffed in their socks, which was alarming because "in order to get inside the hotel you pass through three different body searches, pat-downs, as well as an X-ray machine."

"So how they were able to get those pistols inside is an open question as to whether or not it was simply a matter of lax security or whether security was somehow complicit in this incident," he said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, as well as an earlier assault at a police station in Jalalabad that killed 11 people.

The Associated Press reports that four of the people killed at the hotel were foreigners. Deputy Interior Minister Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi told the news agency the Afghan fatalities included two men, two women and one child, while the foreigners included two women and two men. He did not indicate their nationalities.

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