Four men with pistols stuffed in their socks attacked a luxury hotel in Kabul, opening fire in a restaurant and killing nine people, including four foreigners, two of them Canadian.
Afghan authorities initially said only two security guards had been wounded in the brazen assault on the Serena hotel in Kabul. Deputy Interior Minister Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi later told The Associated Press that the Afghan fatalities included two men, two women and one child while the foreigners included two women and two men. Officials told a press conference Friday they were from Canada, New Zealand, India and Pakistan.
There has been no word from Foreign Affairs in Ottawa or the Canadian Embassy in Kabul about the Canadian victims.
The Afghan capital has been hit by several attacks, but authorities appeared stunned that the militants had managed to get through the tight security at the Serena hotel _ considered one of the safest places to stay in Kabul.
The attack in Kabul came just hours after the Taliban killed 11 people in an audacious assault on a police station in the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan.
The assailants were killed in both standoffs, but made their point: Afghan forces face a huge challenge in securing upcoming elections next month in what will be a major test of their abilities as foreign troops wind down their combat mission at the end of this year.