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US, UK warn their citizens of threat to Kabul hotels

Posted October. 12, 2021 07:18,   

Updated October. 12, 2021 07:18


The U.S. and UK have warned their citizens of a possible attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, urging them to leave the area immediately, AFP reported on Monday. The news agency assumed that the Islamic State (ISIS) is responsible for the threat, saying ISIS’ Afghanistan-Pakistan chapter has been responsible for some of the deadliest attacks in those countries -- massacring civilians at mosques, shrines, public squares and even hospitals.

According to AFP, the U.S. State Department warned that U.S. citizens who are at or near the Serena Hotel should leave immediately. The UK Foreign Office also advised its citizens not to stay in hotels in Kabul, particularly the Serena Hotel in light of the increased risks. Most foreigners left Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country in mid-August but some, including journalists and aid workers still remain in Afghanistan.

A terrorist threat to the Serena Hotel occurred immediately after the U.S. delegation meeting with senior Taliban representatives on Saturday. It was the first meeting between the two sides after the Taliban regained the control of Afghanistan.

The Serena hotel, one of the well-known hotels in Afghanistan, has been a target of terror for quite a long time. Six people were killed in a suicide bombing in 2008 and a total of nine civilians, including a reporter from AFP, were killed in a shooting attack by teenagers.

The U.S. and the U.K. advised their citizens not to be around the Kabul airport, citing security threats the day before a suicide bombing by ISIS that killed at least 170 people on Aug. 26. The ISIS keeps launching terror attacks after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. The ISIS claimed responsibility for the blast at Shia mosque on Friday that killed at least 100 people.

Seong-Ho Hwang hsh0330@donga.com