Ahead Of Afghan Runoff, Taliban Strikes
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.