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4 arrested over Kabul hotel attack

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: U.S. official in Kabul said he was only aware of one American killed
  • Dead said to include 3 Americans, one French, a Norwegian, two Afghan guards
  • The Taliban has claimed responsibility
  • Two suicide bombers and several gunmen attacked the Serena Hotel in Kabul
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KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Security forces have detained four people in the attack on a luxury hotel in the Afghan capital, authorities said Tuesday.

The attack on Monday killed seven people, including three Americans, said Amerullah Saleh, head of the National Directorate of Security. But a U.S. government official in Kabul said he was only aware of one American being killed.

Two suicide bombers and several gunmen in police uniforms attacked the Serena Hotel on Monday, Saleh said, in a brazen assault on a hotel popular with Western guests. Authorities later arrested three suspects, but others may have escaped, he said.

The dead include three Americans, one French citizen, a Norwegian journalist and two Afghan security guards, Saleh said. Seven others were wounded.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility.

A Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladets, said that one of its reporters, Carsten Thomassen, 38, died in the attack. Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the other victims.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said the attack targeted Norway's foreign minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, who was not hurt. The foreign minister said he was "appalled by the killing of Carsten Thomassen," according to a statement on a government Web site.

Witness Robert Stewart described a chaotic scene to CNN. Video Listen to civilian contractor Robert Stewart describe the scene »

"I believe all of them were killed by gunfire," said Stewart, an American who was at the hotel to eat dinner and use the gym. "We heard small arms fire ... immediately followed by two explosions."


Attackers forced their way into the hotel gym and shot three or four people who were working out, he said.

He and others administered first aid to victims until Afghan police and military secured the building and evacuated the wounded, he said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Journalist Farhad Peikar contributed to this report.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

All About The TalibanTerrorismAfghanistan WarAfghanistanBan Ki-moonUnited Nations

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