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And, yes, I DO take it personally: A Taliban massacre in Qargha at the same place I had lunch in 2008
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Friday, June 22, 2012

A Taliban massacre in Qargha at the same place I had lunch in 2008

Qargha Lake near Kabul

i went to lunch at qargha lake in 2008 with two afghan friends and colleagues... we sat out in the garden at tables under the trees at the very same spot and the very same hotel where this massacre took place... i was supposed to attend a wedding anniversary celebration there last year but my security manager put his foot down...
At least 15 civilians were killed when seven Taliban militants shot their way into a popular lakeside resort here and took scores of hostages, Afghan officials said on Friday.

The seven attackers, a police officer and three private guards also died as Afghan security forces fought their way into the compound to end the siege.

The onslaught lasted nearly 11 hours as Afghan security forces tried to rescue hostages and the hotel's other customers.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that Afghans drank alcohol there and that there was prostitution and dancing. "These acts are illegal and strictly prohibited in Islam," said Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman. He added that: "Women dancers were sexually misused there."

Police officials described the sprawling resort at Qargha lake and the Spozhmai hotel, where the drama unfolded, as a daunting place to mount a rescue operation because it is wooded and easy for attackers to hide. In addition to the main hotel, there is at least one other hotel and numerous small cottages.

"The Afghan security forces managed to evacuate 250 to 300 customers at the hotel in the initial hours of the attack and in the morning we resumed our operation and so far we've managed to rescue 40 more hostages including women and children," said General Ayoub Salangi, the Kabul police chief.

"We also rescued four men who were stuck in the water," he said, referring to guests at the hotel who in the initial moments of the attack jumped into the lake. Because they could not swim, they had to cling to the stone sea wall, immersed in the chilly mountain waters until they were fished out by police in the morning.

it's so sad... qargha is one of the very few places kabul residents can go to get away from the city and enjoy a rare, brief moment in nature and a moment or two of enjoyment... it's terrorism, pure and simple...

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