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Interior ministry: at least 8 civilian killed in Kabul hotel attack

One of the civilians killed in the attack was a former Paraguayan diplomat who was in Afghanistan as an election observer

Published: Updated:

At least eight civilians, including children and foreigners, were killed in a Taliban attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul, the spokesman for Afghanistan’s interior ministry said Friday.

In a brazen assault just weeks before Afghanistan’s presidential election, four teenage gunmen with pistols hidden in their socks managed to penetrate several layers of security at the Serena hotel, a prestigious venue favored by foreign visitors to the capital, on Thursday night.

One of the civilians killed in the attack was a former Paraguayan diplomat who was in Afghanistan as an election observer, Paraguay’s foreign minister Eladio Loizaga said.

The Taliban, who have vowed a campaign of violence to disrupt the election on April 5, claimed responsibility for the attack.

“8 civilian including, 3 women (2 foreigners), 3 men and 2 children were killed during the terrorist attack on Serena Hotel Kabul last night,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on his official Twitter feed.

Deputy interior minister Mohammad Ayoub Salangi gave a death toll of nine -- five Afghans and four foreigners.

The four attackers were gunned down by Afghan security forces.