Suicide assault team strikes guesthouse in Kunduz

The Taliban launched another suicide assault in Afghanistan, this time targeting a small hotel in Kunduz City in the north. Today’s attack was executed by three suicide bombers. The first rammed a car packed with explosives into the gate, breaching the outer wall and allowing two other heavily armed fighters to enter the compound. From The Associated Press:

Four Afghan building guards were killed and 10 other people, including an Afghan policeman, were wounded, Sayedi said. Foreigners staying at the two-story hotel escaped through the rear of the building, he said.

Sarwar Husseini, a provincial police spokesman, said German aid workers often stayed in the house, but that it was not clear who the foreigners staying there when the attack took place were. The Interior Ministry said the house was used by GIZ, a German development and assistance organization that contracts mostly with the German government.

A GIZ spokesman said the building is used by a security company called Kabora, which provides security for the German organization, and that the building is not used to house GIZ employees. While there are GIZ international and Afghan staff living in Kunduz, they live in other houses, he said.

“GIZ was not the target,” spokesman Hans Sterling said. He said his reports show the building was used as an office rather than a hotel. Officials with Kabora could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Taliban claimed the attack, in a statement released at Voice of Jihad. In the statement, the Taliban named the three suicide bombers and said they struck a “compound of [the] German intelligence agency in Kunduz city.”

The group of three martyrdom-seeking Mujahideen armed with heavy and small arms stormed the compound at predawn. In the first in the German intelligence agency in Kunduz, Mujahid Ashiqullah one of the three loins of Islam, blew up the gate with explosive-laden car, killing and wounding several enemy soldiers, allowing the other two, Sharafddin and Nazifullah, to enter the compound who fought for hours using hand grenades, rockets, heavy machine guns killing or wounding some 35 German invaders and local minions besides damaging the facility a great deal.

While not stated by the Taliban or in the press reports, the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan was likely involved in today’s attack. The IMU maintains a significant network in Kunduz and the neighboring provinces of Baghlan and Takhar. IMU commanders serve in senior positions in the Taliban’s shadow government. And the IMU is integral to the training and deployment of suicide bombers in the north. In the month of July, ISAF targeted three IMU leaders and facilitators who were active in the suicide network [see ISAF’s operational updates for July 30, July 21, and July 17].

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • jayc says:

    “…Mujahid Ashiqullah one of the three loins of Islam…” While I realize this is a typo, it is very much apropos.

  • BenC says:

    The attacked facility has not been a guesthouse since about a year ago. It was turned into the local office of the German security company LANTdefence, which is a subsidiary of the German EXOP Group. LANTdefence is partnering with the Afghan firm Kabora as a result of Afghan legal requirements.
    The Taliban think they have reason to believe that LANTdefence/EXOP is a German intelligence cover operation. This has been a persistent rumor that seems to be an inevitable side effect when you run a German security company in Afghanistan. Locals actually believe this stuff, which is of course a huge danger to foreigners once the chatter starts.


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