6 slain in attack on luxury Afghan hotel popular with foreigners

Militants with suicide vests, grenades and AK-47 rifles attacked a luxury hotel on Monday, killing at least six people in the most brazen attack yet on Western civilians in Kabul, witnesses and a Taliban spokesman said. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the Norwegian foreign minister, who was not hurt, was the target of the assault, which came as the Norwegian embassy was holding a meeting at the Serena Hotel. Two US State Department officials said at least one American was among the dead. A Norwegian reporter also died. It was the first direct assault on a hotel in Kabul since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. The assailants also appeared to concentrate on the hotel's gym and spa, where foreigners relax and work out. An American inside said she saw a dead body and pools of blood in the lobby. The militants killed six people and wounded six, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary. One of the attackers was shot to death and the Taliban spokesman said a second died in the suicide explosion. It was unclear whether the Norwegian journalist was counted among the six dead.