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Kabul Guesthouse Death Toll Rises To 14

  • RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan

The United Nations says the death toll from a May 13 Taliban attack on a Kabul guesthouse popular with foreigners has jumped to 14.

Another 54 guests at Kabul's Park Palace Hotel were rescued after the hourslong siege ended, including 45 foreigners.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a May 14 statement, "An attack against civilians gathered for a cultural event in the Park Palace hotel in Kabul killed 14 civilians and injured several others."

An unnamed senior Afghan official confirmed the toll, saying five of those killed were Afghans, and nine were foreigners -- seven men and two women.

Earlier, Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi said one American, one Italian, and five Indian citizens were among those killed.

Three attackers, apparently wearing suicide vests, have been killed. "They didn't get the chance to detonate their suicide vests," Kabul deputy police chief Sayed Gul Agha Rohani said.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to RFE/RL.​

Georgette Gagnon, UNAMA's human rights director, said in a statement, "These deliberate attacks on civilians are atrocities."

The brutal assault was reminiscent of two attacks by Taliban fighters in Kabul last year, one on a restaurant and another on a hotel.

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, NBC, and AP