US, UK Warn Against Security Threats to Kabul Hotels
The United States and Britain warn their citizens to avoid the hotels in the Afghan capital, Kabul, following "security threats” against the area.
The United States and Britain have advised their citizens to refrain from staying in Kabul hotels, especially the Serena Hotel, due to increased security risks, days after dozens of people were killed in an attack on a mosque in Kunduz, which was claimed by ISIS.
"Because of security threats at the Serena Hotel, we advise US citizens to avoid traveling to the hotel and the surrounding vicinity", the US Embassy in Afghanistan said in a security alert on October 11.
All Americans who are at or near the Serena Hotel should leave immediately, the Embassy’s added.
As for the British government, it updated foreign travel guidelines, warning, "In light of the increased risks you are advised not to stay in hotels, particularly in Kabul (such as the Serena Hotel)."
It is worth noting that since the Taliban took control of the country, many foreigners have left Afghanistan, but some journalists and aid workers stayed behind.
The Serena Hotel, popular with business travelers and foreign guests, earned notoriety as a target for terrorist attacks by the Taliban. In 2008, a suicide attack on the luxury hotel killed six. In 2014, an attack perpetrated by teenage terrorist militants claimed nine lives.
During the chaotic evacuation of foreign and Afghan nationals, NATO countries issued warnings of an imminent threat, urging them to stay away from Kabul airport.
ISIS bloodiest attacks
Indeed, a suicide bomber later blew himself up in a crowd that had gathered in the vicinity of one of the airport gates, killing dozens of civilians and 13 US soldiers.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack that targeted a number of Taliban members, and for the recent Kunduz attack that targeted a mosque during Friday prayers, which was considered the deadliest since US forces withdrew from the country in August.
US delegation, Taliban representatives meet
In another context, the US Department of State said that on October 9 and 10, discussions were held between a US delegation and Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar.
According to the State Department, the US delegation focused on security and terrorism concerns and "safe passage for US citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners, as well as on human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society."
The US Treasury had earlier allowed limited financial transactions with the Taliban and the Haqqani network related to "humanitarian work in Afghanistan."