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Kabul terrorist attack condemned

By ZHAO JIA and CHEN YINGQUN | China Daily | Updated: 2022-12-14 07:10
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A hotel is attacked in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday. REUTERS

Chinese guests among foreigners injured; three gunmen killed by security forces

Beijing strongly condemned on Tuesday a terrorist attack in Kabul and called on Afghanistan to strengthen the protection of Chinese citizens and institutions in the country.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin made the remarks at a news briefing in response to an attack on Monday at a hotel in central Kabul that is popular with Chinese nationals. The attack left five Chinese guests wounded and three terrorists dead.

An Islamic State affiliate has claimed responsibility for the attack.

"China is deeply shocked at the attack, which is highly egregious, and firmly opposes terrorism in any form," Wang said, while also mourning Afghan military and police officers killed in the attack and sending sympathies to the injured.

A working group of the Chinese embassy in Afghanistan went to the hotel on the same day of the attack to carry out rescue, treatment and recovery work with the Afghan side, he said, while expressing gratitude to Afghan security forces' efforts to rescue the Chinese.

"China demands the Afghan side spare no efforts in searching for and rescuing Chinese individuals, conduct a thorough investigation to hold perpetrators accountable, and earnestly step up the protection of Chinese citizens and institutions in Afghanistan," Wang said.

He added that China is closely following the situation and supports Afghanistan's efforts to crack down on all forms of terrorism and violent activities, as well as safeguard its security and stability.

In light of the security situation in Afghanistan, Wang said the foreign ministry has once again recommended that Chinese citizens and institutions evacuate as soon as possible and contact the Chinese embassy to report their personal details.

The extremist militant group Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack and said in a statement on Monday that its militants attacked the hotel and detonated two explosive devices hidden inside two bags and sprayed bullets inside the hotel.

A hospital in Kabul said on its Twitter account that it had received 18 injured and three dead after the attack.

Officials in the Afghan capital said that the attack took place at around 2:30 pm local time on Monday. Two foreigners who jumped from the roof of the hotel were injured. They said security forces killed three attackers during an operation.

Chief spokesman for the Taliban-run caretaker government, Zabihullah Mujahid, said on his Twitter account hours after the attack that the operation ended when the three attackers were killed and all guests rescued from the hotel.

An eyewitness told local media that he heard two blasts and gunfire coming from the building.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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