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26 die in Afghan resort attack by Taliban
A Taliban attack and gunbattle with military troops at an Afghan lakeside resort hotel 10 miles from Kabul left at least 26 people dead, police said.
The dead after an 11-hour standoff included 15 civilians, three security guards, a police officer and seven Taliban attackers, Kabul police chief Ayoub Salangi said.
NATO and Afghan troops engaged in a gunbattle with the attackers, some dressed as women wearing burqas.
CNN reported 50 people were held hostage at the Spozhmai hotel where attackers brought explosives shortly before midnight Thursday.
Panicked guests fled, some jumping into the lake.
On their Web site, the Taliban called the Spozhmai and other hotels at the resort “prime places in Kabul for prostitution and parties,” The New York Times said.
The hotels are “usually used for immoral and unethical purposes both for the foreigners and their puppet colleagues,” the Taliban said.
Afghan National Army soldiers arrived at the hotel not long after midnight and began the effort to retake it with support from NATO forces.
Gen. Mohammed Zahir, head of the Kabul Criminal Investigation Division, said police and military forces had tried to avoid civilian casualties.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International