Americans Were Among 22 Killed in Kabul Hotel Attack, U.S. SaysBy MUJIB MASHAL and JAWAD SUKHANYAR JAN. 23, 2018 The New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan — The State Department said on Tuesday that United States citizens were among the victims of the Taliban attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, over the weekend, which killed 22 people.

American officials said they were not yet able to publicly identify the citizens who were killed or injured, but Afghan officials said it appeared that at least three people with American citizenship — all of them either dual citizens or with family roots in Afghanistan — had lost their lives.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry identified one of the dead as Abdullah Waheed Poyan, an Afghan diplomat. Relatives said he had lived in the United States for at least a decade and held a United States passport.

“The attack on the hotel, once again, shows the depravity of terrorists who seek to sow chaos,” said Heather Nauert, the spokeswoman for the State Department. “Sadly, we can confirm that Americans are among the victims.”

Six Taliban militants barged into the highly guarded Intercontinental hotel on Saturday night, fighting until noon on Sunday. At least 14 of their victims were foreign citizens, nine of them pilots and flight crew members from Ukraine and Venezuela who worked for a private Afghan airline, Kam Air.

In the aftermath of the attack, there has been much confusion about the casualties, with many fearing the Afghan government was hiding the real toll.

Different officials have insisted the number is no more than 20 or 22 dead. On Monday, at least two new bodies were discovered at the hotel, which remains off limits to journalists.

Much of the hotel looks charred in photographs that have leaked out, and Afghan officials said many of the bodies were burned or in bad shape, making the identification process difficult.

Ahmad Shakib Mostaghni, a spokesman for the Afghan Foreign Ministry, said that paperwork for 10 of the foreign citizens was completed and that their bodies would be flown to their home countries soon.

“The four remaining are Americans and German,” Mr. Mostaghni said. “Their paperwork is not ready and no one has reached our ministry for assistance. All the bodies are at the morgue.”

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The Afghan government has said it was the work of the Haqqani network, a brutal arm of the insurgency that operates out of Pakistan.

President Trump recently suspended nearly all American security aid to Pakistan for harboring militant groups such as the Haqqani network on its soil. The death of American citizens in an attack claimed by the group is likely to increase the tensions between the United States and Pakistan.

Gardiner Harris contributed reporting from Washington.

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