"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)




A Taleban suicide squad stormed a United Nations guesthouse in Kabul this morning leaving six international staff — including one American — dead and at least nine injured, in an attack that militants warned marked the start of a bloody countdown to the new Afghan elections.

Fierce fighting erupted shortly after dawn when gunmen attacked the residential compound close to the diplomatic district of the capital, while elsewhere a salvo of rockets hit the Presidential Palace and a nearby hotel.

Around 20 UN staff were asleep in the three storey building when their security guards were overrun by insurgents wearing police uniforms, officials said.

Neighbours said that they heard a series of grenade explosions followed by short bursts of small arms fire. A former British soldier, working as a security adviser in a nearby property, said that it sounded like a "well disciplined" attack.

At least five Westerners were seen jumping off top floor balconies in a bid to escape, as flames engulfed the three storey building. Afghan officials said at least two women ran into the street, semi-clothed, screaming for help.

The New York Times account is even more sickening.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of those killed, all of you in Kabul, and those with ties to the city & its people for whom this hits a little too close to home.


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