Taliban fighters dressed with burkas to find prostitutes

Published On: Sunday, January 13, 2013 7:30 AM
By: Ryan Lee Hall
Women dressed in burkas
A minivan approached the hotel entrance of Qargha Spozhmai just before midnight Thursday, and what appeared to be seven Afghan women covered head to toe with burkas piled out.

Getting rid of the burkas, the women turned out to be men insurgents, bristling with weapons and suicide vests packed with explosives.

They ran into the hotel, filled with hundreds of Afghans - which is one of the few places in the Kabul area, where families and young people can go for a night out.

''Where are the prostitutes?'' The intruders demanded after shooting their way through the hotel's restaurant, according to police accounts and survivors.

The attackers shot the manager and three unarmed guards from the hotel, which would be among at least 20 people they managed to kill in the attacks before their death, mostly by suicide, ended the raid.

There were no prostitutes, as it turned out, and apparently no foreign guests either, the Taliban spokesmen later said the group had been targeting prostitutes and foreigners.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that Afghans and foreigners did drink alcohol and prostitution was present and they were not dancing.