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Islamic State claims deadly attack on Kabul hotel popular with Chinese nationals

Islamic State claims deadly attack on Kabul hotel popular with Chinese nationals

Afghanistan Taliban raids net Isis members behind Kabul Chinese hotel attack

  • Raids come less than a month after Islamic State militants attacked a Kabul hotel popular with Chinese
  • Since the Taliban returned to power last year, Isis has intensified its attacks in Afghanistan

Eight people were killed and seven arrested following raids on hideouts of the Islamic State militant group in Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesperson said on Thursday.

“These members had a main role in the attack on the Chinese hotel and paved the way for foreign ISKP members to come to Afghanistan,” spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said on Twitter, referring to Islamic State-Khorasan, the Afghanistan branch of Isis.

“Lots of weapons and explosives have fallen into the hands of the security forces,” he added, describing Wednesday’s raids.

Isis - a key rival of the Taliban - claimed responsibility for the December 12 attack on Kabul Longan Hotel, which left five Chinese nationals injured. Several Afghan military and police were also killed.

The assault on the Longan - a hotel run by Chinese that had served a wave of visiting Chinese businessmen since the Taliban took over the country - came less than two weeks after an attack on Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul. In September, a suicide bomber hit Russia’s mission.

Beijing has not formally recognised the administration. But China still has significant strategic interests in its neighbour which sits in the centre of a region important to its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

Reuters and Associated Press