Five to six Taliban gunmen attacked a guest house used by UN staff in the Afghan capital of Kabul early Wednesday, killing at least seven people including three UN staff, officials said. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility, saying it was meant as an assault on the upcoming presidential election.
There are reports of about four foreigners being taken hostage.
Heavy gunfire reverberated through the streets shortly after dawn and a large plume of smoke rose over the city following the attack in the Shar-e-Naw district. Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman said seven people were killed, including some attackers.
UN spokesman Adrian Edwards confirmed that three UN staff were among the dead and one was seriously wounded. He said 20 UN staff were known to be registered there.