KABUL, Afghanistan – Four gunmen opened fire late Thursday in a Kabul hotel that caters to foreigners, wounding two employees before police killed the assailants.
Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, said the teenage attackers entered the Serena Hotel about 6 p.m. under pretense of coming for dinner. They started firing about three hours later with small pistols they had hidden in their socks, wounding a guard and a foreign worker at the hotel.
The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement through spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid that the assailants had targeted foreigners and Afghan officials who were celebrating the Persian New Year.
A hotel worker named Gulam Ali told his brother by cellphone that guests and staff members had taken refuge in the basement, the Associated Press reported.
"Everybody's fine," he told his brother Mohammed Nabil, who let an AP reporter listen to the conversation. "Foreigners, workers, everybody is in the basement. A quick-reaction unit from the police entered the Serena and the hotel is surrounded."
Sediqi said the wounded employees had been hospitalized. An investigation was underway.