NPR logo

Ahead Of Afghan Runoff, Taliban Strikes

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/114232178/114232166" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Ahead Of Afghan Runoff, Taliban Strikes

Afghanistan

Ahead Of Afghan Runoff, Taliban Strikes

Ahead Of Afghan Runoff, Taliban Strikes

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/114232178/114232166" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A Taliban attack on an international guesthouse in the heart of Kabul killed at least 12 people — including U.N. staff members. A spokesman for the Taliban said it was the first of many attacks they plan to carry out to disrupt next month's runoff election.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

The Taliban struck this morning in the heart of Kabul. They attacked an international guest house, killing eight people, including five U.N. workers. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Afghanistan's capital.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON: Officials say three gunmen carrying explosives stormed the guarded compound that houses United Nations workers at about 6:00 A.M. Witnesses say they heard heavy gunfire and saw a plume of smoke rise high into the air. After one attacker detonated his explosives, Afghan security forces fatally shot the other two gunmen.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. A spokesman for the group said this was the first of many attacks militants plan to carry out to disrupt runoff elections being held here next month.

Later, militants fired a rocket at the luxury Serena Hotel in downtown Kabul, which also caters to foreigners. The rocket did not explode, but filled the lobby with smoke.

Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR News, Kabul.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.