10 Indians among 17 dead in Kabul suicide attack

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Kabul, Feb. 26 (ANI): At least 10 Indians have been reportedly killed in the suicide bombings carried out by Taliban militants in Kabul on Friday morning.

Afghanistan officials said that at least 17 people have died in the series of explosions and gunfire at a kebab shop near a nine-story shopping complex which houses the Safi Landmark Hotel, in which several Indian citizens were staying.

Two policemen are also reported to be among the dead.

According to reports, a suicide bomber detonated explosives near the guesthouse, and the explosions were followed by several smaller blasts.

Police said that a suicide bomber blew himself up, while two other attackers were shot dead.

A spokesman for the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The violence comes as NATO and the Afghan forces continue Operation Moshtarak to tackle the Taliban in Helmand province.

An eyewitness said he saw the suicide bomber blowing himself up on the first floor of the hotel while he was running out from the premises after hearing the first explosion near the kebab shop.

"I saw foreigners were crying and shouting. It was a very bad situation inside. God helped me, otherwise I would be dead. I saw one suicide bomber blowing himself up on the first floor of the hotel," Sky News quoted Najibullah, a worker at the hotel, as saying.

Witnesses said they heard at least two smaller explosions and said they saw gunmen enter the building.

The four-star hotel is about 15 minutes by road from Kabul International Airport, and is close to most government offices. (ANI)

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