New Delhi: Locals and social media reported that in the capital Kabul of, Afghanistan, gunfire and an explosion in Kabul's Longan hotel occurred. Witnesses and local media said a loud explosion was heard before several rounds of gunshots.
Suspected militants opened fire on a building housing foreigners. Security forces have reportedly entered the building and are engaged in ongoing clashes with the shooters, who are likely to be a suicidal group.
The news agency said, "It was a deafening explosion, and then there was a lot of gunfire," the witness told AFP. Afghan media also reported similar details."
Security officials were not immediately available to comment on the blast in Shahr-e-naw, one of Kabul's main commercial areas.
Suicidal attack on Chinese
The hotel's name is Longan Hotel, a multi-storey complex popular with Chinese business people visiting Afghanistan in increasing numbers since the Taliban's return.
A Taliban source based in Pakistan told AFP that an unknown number of attackers had entered the hotel. "An operation has been launched against the attackers. Firing continues," he said.
AFP correspondents saw teams of Taliban special forces rush to the scene.
Videos on Twitter showed smoke and fire coming out of the multi-story building which is said to be the hotel hosting Chinese nationals.
Big smoke coming out of the Chinese hotel, where active shooting is ongoing in #Kabul #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/ujvXXxztqH— Ghulam Abbas Shah (@ghulamabbasshah) December 12, 2022
China, which shares a rugged 76-kilometre (47-mile) border with Afghanistan, has not officially recognised the Taliban government but is one of the few countries to maintain an entire diplomatic presence there.
The Taliban have promised that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for militants and, in exchange, China has offered economic support and investment for Afghanistan's reconstruction.
The attacks in Kabul in last few months have increased, and the Islamic State mostly has taken most of the responsibility for the attack. Attacks are taking place across the country on an almost-weekly basis.