KABUL, Afghanistan — Security guards searched four attackers — twice — before allowing them to enter an Afghan hotel where the young men proceeded to the restaurant and killed nine diners, including four foreigners and an Afghan journalist, his wife and two children, according to chilling closed-circuit video broadcast Saturday by a local TV station.
The question of how the gunmen penetrated the tight security of the Serena hotel — considered one of the safest spots in the Afghan capital — with pistols and ammunition is one of the biggest mysteries surrounding Thursday's attack. Afghan authorities have said the attackers hid the weaponry in the soles of their shoes, wrapped in plastic. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault and said it proves the militants can strike anywhere.
The three-story hotel is surrounded by a fence and visitors must pass through two gates and a metal detector.
The 14 minutes of video, obtained by the private Ariana TV station and shared with the Associated Press, show four men clad in traditional tunics and loose trousers walking through the perimeter gate. They start toward security and are apparently called back by the guards to be searched. The cameras then capture images of the men placing ID cards and other items on a tray by a conveyer belt before passing through the metal detector. A guard then gives each one a more thorough pat down before letting them through the door.
Police killed the gunmen.