After Kabul Hotel Attack, Security Plan Queried as Death Toll Rises

KABUL, Afghanistan — A day after a bloody Taliban siege in Kabul, the Afghan Interior Ministry on Monday raised the civilian death toll to 22 after the discovery of two more bodies at the Intercontinental Hotel, and officials struggled to understand how six militants were able to barge into a highly guarded compound and fend off the security forces for 15 hours.

The ministry said that 14 foreigners were among the dead, including citizens of Ukraine and Venezuela. The two bodies found at the hotel on Monday, more than 24 hours after the attack and after the clearance operation was declared over, were described as badly burned.

Many Afghans still feared that the government was hiding the actual casualty toll, as family members arrived at the hotel gates to seek news of loved ones after searching in Kabul hospitals. The hotel remained off limits to the news media and visitors.

“The two bodies found today were foreign nationals, but we don’t know about who they are and which country they belong to,” said Najib Danish, an Interior Ministry spokesman. Officials said that all six of the attackers had been killed.

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