Gunmen attack Kabul Longan Hotel, popular with Chinese visitors

By Salaam Times and AFP

Smoke is seen rising from the Kabul Longan Hotel, after blasts and gunfire were heard in the Kabul hotel popular with Chinese business visitors. [Luana Sarmini-Buonaccorsi/AFPTV/AFP]

KABUL -- At least three of the gunmen who opened fire in a central Kabul hotel were killed in armed clashes on Monday (December 12).

The Kabul Longan Hotel was attacked by unidentified armed men on Monday. Witnesses reported multiple blasts and several bursts of gunfire.

Eighteen casualties, all of them Afghan, were transferred to a nearby hospital, the BBC reported.

The hotel is popular with Chinese business visitors, who have flocked to Afghanistan since August 2021 in pursuit of potentially lucrative business deals.

Smoke rises from a site of an attack at Shahr-e-naw, one of Kabul's main commercial areas, on December 12. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

Smoke rises from a site of an attack at Shahr-e-naw, one of Kabul's main commercial areas, on December 12. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

Smoke could be seen pouring from the multi-storey hotel as authorities rushed to the site and sealed off the neighbourhood.

AFP correspondents near the scene in Shahr-e-naw, a commercial and residential neighbourhood in Kabul, heard multiple blasts and gunfire, while Afghan media reported similar details.

Video circulating on social media showed people clambering out of windows on the lower floors of the building, with the hotel sign -- in English and Chinese -- clearly visible.

Other video showed huge flames licking out of another section, with thick plumes of smoke.

A helicopter also made several passes of the area.

Scores of recent attacks in Kabul

Kabul has been the scene of scores of bombings and other attacks in recent months, many claimed by the local chapter of the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) terrorist group.

Early this month, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack on Pakistan's embassy in Kabul that Islamabad decried as an "assassination attempt" on the ambassador.

On September 30, a suicide bombing struck a classroom of hundreds of students preparing for exams at Kaaj Higher Educational Centre in Kabul's Dasht-e-Barchi neighourhood, killing and injuring scores of students, most of whom were girls.

ISIS also claimed responsibility for a September 5 suicide bombing near the Russian embassy in Kabul that killed two staff members from the diplomatic mission, as well as four Afghans.

The bomber struck near the entrance of the embassy's consular section.

An ISIS fighter "blew up his suicide vest in a gathering attended by Russian employees" near the embassy, the group said in a statement that was circulated on various Telegram channels.

On August 17, at least 21 people were killed and dozens more wounded when a blast ripped through Abu Bakr al-Sadiq Mosque in Kabul.

Earlier in August, it claimed responsibility for a series of bombings that killed at least 10 people.

The explosions occurred in a west Kabul neighbourhood that is mainly inhabited by members of the ethnic Hazara community, who are mostly Shia.

The blasts came just days ahead of Ashura, when worshippers gather at mosques and take part in processions marking the death of the Shia Imam Hussein Ibn Ali, grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

In June, ISIS claimed an attack on a gurdwara in Kabul that left two dead and at least seven wounded.

ISIS has targeted minority communities such as the Shia, Sufis and Sikhs.

In a message posted on its Amaq propaganda site, ISIS said the attack targeted Hindus and Sikhs and the "apostates" who protected them.

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The Chinese media outlet "South China Morning Post" has expressed concern in an article that the attacks of the ISIS group will continue on Chinese citizens in Afghanistan in 2023. Referring to the fact that China has closed its embassy in Kabul after an attack attributed to ISIS on the guest house of its citizens, this media expressed concern about similar attacks against Chinese investors in Afghanistan. According to this media, China's continued suppression of Uyghur Muslims and the Chinese government's relationship with the Taliban will encourage ISIS to attack Chinese citizens. The said media adds that the ISIS group may also engage in this action to challenge the Taliban's claim of providing complete security in Afghanistan. This report from the Chinese media comes at a time when the ruling administration of the Taliban announced the signing of an agreement with a Chinese company to exploit the Amu oil field. I am not happy to see the death of any human being, but the Chinese are oppressing and looting the mines and resources of our country. The Taliban came to power undemocratically. Contracts with the Taliban by the Chinese authorities are illegal because there is no law in force in Afghanistan.


In the light of human principles, in the light of the same human principles that the world calls themselves inventors and owners of, Afghans demand to be left so that they can breathe in peace. We will indeed have differences among ourselves, but based on human principles, we have the right to be helped in times of trouble and get out of this dire situation. This is because this is the world and the world has the status of a village. The world community should not implement its war projects in Afghanistan. For decades, some countries have been using Afghan soil to achieve their goals. If I tell you about myself, the war in Afghanistan is older than me. I am asking international humanitarians whether I am a human or not. Don't I have the right to live as a human being? Aren't Afghans humans? Let Afghans live, build their own country, and strengthen their economy. Our oppressed people have been oppressed for years. One [war] project is not finished as another one comes, then another one comes...


May God bless the Americans, but let me tell you one thing this whole mess is in the ass of America. A little while ago, I read somewhere that, (The United States has blacklisted 6 major Pakistani companies for financing and supplying equipment to the country's illegal nuclear program. The companies include Dynamic Engineering Corporation, Enerkop Pvt. Ltd., and INA. R Technology Trading LLC, Trojan, Rainbow Solutions, and Universal Drilling Engineers). That is, America has information about every company that supports Pakistan's nuclear program, but it does not know where these terrorists who attack Afghanistan come from. I do not swear that America is like a father who knows about his son. Just a craziness is going on. The Britons killed the Afghans. The Russians killed the Afghans. Americans killed them. Pakistanis killed them. Iranians killed Afghans. I wonder why all these countries are hostile to Afghanistan and Afghans?!