The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has condemned the attack at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul that killed at least 43 people including 11 foreign nationals and praised the Afghan authorities for handling the assault.
He said in a statement: “We mourn all those who lost their lives in the attack, whether Afghans or citizens of other countries,” Tillerson said in a statement. “We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and wish for the speedy recovery of those wounded.”
The statement comes after the hotel was stormed by Taliban insurgents on Saturday night at about 9pm local time. The siege ended 17 hours later.
However, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has officially confirmed the death of 29 people but reliable sources told TOLOnews the death toll was closer to 43.
Tillerson said the US is speaking with Afghan officials about the attack and is “committed to supporting Afghan efforts to achieve peace, security, and prosperity for their country.”
“We are in contact with Afghan authorities regarding their investigation of the incident,” he said.
“We have seen the Taliban’s claim of responsibility and condemn terrorist groups for their violent campaign against Afghan and foreign personnel working to improve Afghanistan.”
The siege of the Intercontinental Hotel this weekend was the latest in a string of insurgent attacks in Kabul and around the country – underlining the country’s fragile security situation.
The attack also came just two days after the US embassy in Kabul issued a threat alert that insurgents had planned to carry out an attack against a hotel in the city.
This was the second time the Intercontinental Hotel has come under attack in the past few years. In June, 2011, a suicide bomber killed 21 people, including 10 civilians, at the hotel.