Kabul Hotels Security Threat Alert

The ghost of the attacks regained strength on Monday with an alert for hotels in Kabul, a day after the first meeting between US representatives and the Taliban since mid-August, in which security issues were discussed.

The Americans and the British warned their citizens on Monday of the risk of attacks on Kabul’s large hotels, such as the Serena, a luxury establishment located in the heart of the capital.

"Because of the security threat, we advise American citizens to avoid staying [allí] and avoid the area"said the State Department on its website, alluding to that hotel, which was attacked several times in recent years.

On March 20, 2014, an armed Taliban commando stormed that hotel and killed nine people, including an AFP journalist and his family.

He was also attacked in January 2008 by a kamikaze when the Norwegian Foreign Minister was there. Six people were killed in the attack, including an American and a Norwegian journalist.

In Kabul’s high-end hotels, both foreigners who are passing through the city, as well as journalists, humanitarian workers and Taliban with positions of responsibility, usually stay, who organize work meetings there.

The Taliban returned to power on August 15 and have made security their priority ever since, after twenty years of war. However, they are being confronted with a wave of bloody attacks, claimed by the local branch of the Islamic State (IS) organization, the Islamic State of the Khorasan (IS-K) group.

On Friday, IS-K claimed responsibility for an attack on a Shiite mosque in Kunduz, in the northeast of the country, which left at least 60 people dead. It is the deadliest attack since US troops left the country on August 30.

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"Tried for their actions"

The warning about the capital’s hotels came hours after the first official meeting in Qatar between senior US officials and the Taliban since the Americans left the country.

According to the State Department, the conversations were "frank and professional" and the Americans reiterated that they would put the Taliban on trial "for his actions, not just his words".

The debate centered on "concerns about security and terrorism, the safe transit of Americans, other foreigners, and our Afghan partners"said Ned Price, spokesman for US diplomacy.

Other topics of interest were "human rights, including meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society"Price said.

So far, no country has recognized the new Taliban regime. But Pakistan, China or Qatar, for example, gave signs of opening.

For their part, the Taliban stated in a statement thatUSAagreed to send aid to Afghanistan.

Instead, Washington indicated that this issue was not discussed and repeated that any aid would go to the Afghan people and not to the Taliban government.


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