“A crew of suicide bombers attacked a central commercial area dotted with guesthouses frequented by foreigners, setting off an hours-long gunbattle with Afghan police early Friday and killing at least 17 people.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the dramatic raid, which began around daybreak and wounded at least 32 people. The assault was the latest in a string of attacks to rock the capital city, whose residents generally feel a world away from the raging rural insurgency that U.S.-led forces are seeking to contain in a new push in southern Afghanistan.
The attack began with a car bombing that left a swimming pool-sized crater outside a small hotel, where most guests were Indian, said Abdul Ghafar Sayed Zada, head of criminal investigations for the city police. Three suicide bombers then entered another nearby guesthouse, the Park Residence, which is often used by Americans. “