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Four gunmen killed in attack on luxury Kabul hotel

Four suspected Taliban gunmen entered a luxury hotel in Kabul on Thursday evening before being shot dead, officials said, adding that three people were wounded as guests were rushed to reinforced safe rooms. Just two weeks before Afghanistan's presidential elections, the attackers hid small pistols in their socks and penetrated several layers of security at the Serena hotel, a prestigious venue favoured by foreign visitors to the Afghan capital.

Splinter group claims Swedish murder in Kabul

A little-known Islamist militant group claimed responsibility on Wednesday for gunning down a Swedish journalist in Kabul, but officials said the murder remained unexplained and that they were hunting for two suspects. Nils Horner was shot at close range in an execution-style attack in an upmarket district of the Afghan capital, a city that is regularly hit by Taliban suicide attacks. Tuesday's killing was claimed by Fidai Mahaz, a small splinter group linked to the Taliban-led insurgency that fights against the US-backed government in Kabul.

7 Police die in Taliban attack in Afghanistan

Kabul, Mar 5 (EFE).- At least seven Afghan police officers died in a Taliban attack on a checkpoint in the northern province of Faryab, an official spokesman told Efe on Wednesday. The attack took place Tuesday night in the Qaissar district, and among the dead is the police commander of the checkpoint, said the provincial governer's spokesman, Javid Bedar. It is quite possible that the insurgents staged the attack with the help of a Taliban fighter infiltrated into the security forces, Bedar said.

Pakistan halts air strikes against Taliban

Pakistan on Sunday said it was halting air strikes against Taliban militants in response to a month-long ceasefire announced by the insurgents a day earlier. "After the positive announcement yesterday by the Taliban, the government has decided to suspend the air strikes which were continuing for the past few days," interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said in a statement. mmg/ia/pj

Taliban kill 20 Afghan soldiers in predawn attack

The Taliban stormed an Afghan army outpost in the eastern Kunar province bordering Pakistan early Sunday, killing 20 soldiers and kidnapping seven, an official said. The volatile border area is dominated by militants who often use improvised explosive devices to target soldiers, but Sunday's attack saw the highest casualty count in a single incident in recent months. The attack occurred in the Ghaziabad district of Kunar province, provincial governor Shujah-Ul Mulk Jalala told AFP. The Taliban later issued a statement claiming responsibility.

Taliban kill 20 Afghan soldiers, kidnap 7

Taliban militants stormed an Afghan army outpost in the eastern Kunar province bordering Pakistan early Sunday, killing 20 soldiers and kidnapping seven, an official said. The deadly attack occurred in Ghaziabad district, provincial governor Shujah-Ul Mulk Jalala told AFP. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. str-sak/ac

U.S. report says planned cuts to Afghan forces threaten stability

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Taliban insurgents will increasingly threaten Afghan stability after international forces withdraw in December, and Kabul will need more troops than currently envisioned to provide basic security, according to a new independent strategy review.

Kabul suicide bomber tries to target hostel, kills one

A bomber killed a guard in a suicide attack after a failed attempt to target a guest house used by foreigners in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, police said. The attacker on foot was prevented from entering the guest house, leading him to target a cultural centre next door, said police spokesman Hashmat Stanakzai. "The attacker was stopped by a guard at the entrance (of the cultural centre), but he set off his explosives, killing the guard and wounding four civilians," he told AFP.

Senior Pakistan officer killed by Taliban as talks falter: army

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A senior Pakistani army officer was killed on Tuesday in an exchange of fire with the Taliban, the military said, after peace negotiations between the government and the insurgents broke down a day earlier. "(The) exchange of fire continues," the army's press wing said in a statement, adding the attack took place near the volatile city of Peshawar on the Afghan border. (Reporting by Maria Golovnina; Editing by Nick Macfie)

'No possible justification' for Kabul restaurant attack

The White House on Saturday strongly condemned a Taliban suicide attack on a Kabul restaurant that killed 21 people, including many foreigners working in the country. "There is no possible justification for this attack, which has killed innocent civilians, including Americans, working every day to help the Afghan people achieve a better future," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
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