Sunday, November 19, 2017
News Roundup

2 Taliban attacks in Afghanistan show dangers loom

RECOMMENDED READING


KABUL, Afghanistan — Four gunmen with pistols stuffed into their socks attacked a luxury hotel frequented by foreigners in Afghanistan's capital Thursday, just hours after militants killed 11 people in an audacious assault on a police station.

All the assailants were killed in both standoffs, but made their point: Afghan forces face a huge challenge securing upcoming elections in what will be a major test of their abilities as foreign troops wind down their combat mission at the end of this year.

The attacks show the Taliban are following through on their threat to use violence to disrupt the April 5 vote, which will be the first democratic transfer of power since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Islamic militant movement. President Hamid Karzai is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the assault on the Serena hotel and the earlier attack in Jalalabad, an economic hub near the border with Pakistan.

"Our people, if they decide to attack any place, they can do it," he said.

The violence began before dawn Thursday when a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car outside the police station in Jalalabad.

Six gunmen rushed into the station as two more bombs exploded nearby, one hidden in a motorized rickshaw and another in a vegetable cart.

That prompted a fierce battle that lasted more than four hours, with Afghan police and soldiers chasing gunmen down the street amid gunfire and smoke billowing into the blue sky. Security forces killed seven attackers, deputy Interior Minister Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi said.

Police said the attack killed 10 officers, including a city district police chief and a university student caught in the crossfire, and wounded 15 policemen.

Hours later, four young men entered the Serena hotel — considered one of the safest places to stay in Kabul — about 6 p.m., telling guards they were going to dinner, officials said. To enter the hotel, guests must pass through an exterior gate and undergo a metal detector search and pat down.

Inside they drew the pistols hidden in their socks and opened fire, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

A hotel worker named Gulam Ali told his brother via cell phone that the guests and staff had taken refuge in the basement.

The attackers appeared to be about 18 years old; all had been killed, Sediqqi said. Two security guards were wounded.

Comments
Sunday morning QB, playoff edition

Sunday morning QB, playoff edition

Player of the Week | Michael Penix Jr., Tampa Bay TechPenix, a Tennessee commit, has been good all season and it seems as if he’s getting even better in the playoffs. On Friday night against Palmetto in the Class 7A region semifinals, he was too ...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

TAMPA — The firepower showed up in the third period.Yanni Gourde and Ondrej Palat scored 13 seconds apart. Gourde scored again.Suddenly it was a one-goal game, and the Lightning appeared on its way to one of those comeback wins that would be remember...
Updated: 10 hours ago
No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

PHILADELPHIA — There were so many reasons for UCF coach Scott Frost to worry about his team’s focus. With a huge game against USF looming, playing an improving Temple team in a stadium where the empty seats outnumbered the filled ones by about a 3-1 ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

TAMPA — In the spring of 2010, one of the biggest debates during the week leading up to the NFL draft was which defensive tackle would be selected first: Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy.Both figured to be highly productive NFL pla...
Updated: 12 hours ago
No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

MIAMI — After Miami clinched the first Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division crown in program history, upset the then-No. 3 team in the country, claimed one of the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings and after many of the nat...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

TAMPA — Belief is the biggest attribute a quarterback can bring to his team. Belief in his talent. Belief in his commitment to winning. Belief in his ability to bring everyone together and have his voice lead the path forward.But the belief the Bucs ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

TAMPA — Can the Bucs pull off back-to-back wins with a backup quarterback? Win a game on the road for the first time this season? Politely hand the unnamed trophy for the state’s worst football team back to the Dolphins?With WR Mike Evans back from h...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher longed for his team to play in this type of game throughout its disappointing season.After Hurricane Irma caused a three-week layoff between FSU’s first two games, forcing it to play 11 in a row to finis...
Updated: 12 hours ago