Several killed in attack on Afghan guesthouse, including US citizen

Afghan policemen keep watch at the site of an attack in Kabul May 14, 2015. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani)
An American and two Indian citizens were among those killed after gunmen attacked a guesthouse in Kabul, Afghanistan, renowned for being popular with foreign tourists, according to local officials.

“Five people were killed including foreigners and Afghans in the attack on Park Palace guesthouse,” Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi told reporters, adding that at least five others were injured during the accident in the upmarket district which is popular with international aid agency workers.

“Fifty-four people were rescued by security forces,” he added after a large number of armed personnel swooped on the guesthouse.

The police chief did not name the nationalities of the fallen foreigners, but the American embassy confirmed the death of one US national.

“Our thoughts are with the families of the victims at this time. Out of respect for the families of those killed, we have no further information at this time,” US embassy spokeswoman Monica Cummings told AFP.

In addition, Indian ambassador tweeted that there were “a few Indian casualties.” Reuters reported at least 2 Indian casualties.

The attackers arrived on motorcycles right after firing on a nearby provincial government office building. Park Palace was hosting the concert of a a classical singer, Altaf Hussain, when the gunfire started.

“The clash caused four policemen and three civilians killed in addition to the attackers,”deputy provincial police chief Padshah Gul Bakhtyar told Xinhua, after security forces faced heavy gunfire from the assailants.

When the attack began Wednesday night, the area was sealed off by authorities as police and special forces responded to the scene.

The Park Palace Hotel is located in the same area as the Indian Embassy and Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior.

While the Taliban has previously attacked hotels in Afghanistan, no group has yet claimed responsibility for this incident.