Kabul hotel attack: Three gunmen dead, five Chinese nationals wounded as Isis claims responsibility

At least three people were killed and 18 people, including five Chinese nationals, were injured after gunmen opened fire inside a hotel popular for hosting foreigners in Kabul on Monday.

Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack which reverberated through the Longan hotel in central Kabul’s Shahr-e-Naw area where Chinese and other foreigners usually stay.

The Taliban-run administration said three gunmen who attacked the building were killed by security forces after the shootout which occurred at around 2.30pm on Monday.

Five Chinese nationals were wounded in the attack, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.

The attack pushed China to lodge representations with the Taliban.

“China demands the Afghan side spare no efforts in searching for and rescuing Chinese individuals, and at the same time open a comprehensive investigation, severely punish the attackers, and earnestly strengthen the protection of Chinese citizens and organisations in Afghanistan,” Mr Wang said.

The Chinese foreign ministry is once again recommending its nationals and organisations to evacuate Afghanistan as soon as possible, Mr Wang said, citing the country’s security situation.

Italian nonprofit Emergency said its hospital in Kabul received 21 casualties, of which 18 were injured and three were declared dead on arrival.

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said two foreign nationals were hurt in their attempt to escape by jumping from the hotel’s balcony.

Gunfire and explosions were heard after the attack on the hotel. Visuals showed thick clouds of smoke emerging from the roof and one of the lower floors of the building on Monday afternoon. Videos also showed a person trying to flee the building amid sounds of gunshots.

Residents in the area reported a powerful explosion followed by gunfire. Another unverified video showed raging gunfire in the hotel’s vicinity.

The attack came just a day after China’s ambassador met the Afghan deputy foreign minister for discussions on security-related matters and sought more attention on the protection of its embassy.

China is among a handful of nations operating a full embassy in the capital but does not officially recognise the hardline Taliban regime. Kabul has also seen an influx of Chinese business officials after the Taliban returned to power in August last year.