According to U.N. officials, the police and the Afghan Interior Ministry, Wednesday morning Taliban gunmen attacked a guest house in central Kabul, killing six United Nations employees and two Afghan security officials.
One of those killed was an American security guard who battled the attackers as they came through the front gate in the predawn hours, according to an American who was staying in the guest house and who joined in the gun battle before shepherding 25 other residents to safety.
The police said one of the victims, a woman, had been shot in the head, and another burned to death. A cellphone video taken by a security official and seen by a reporter showed just the head and torso of a third victim, apparently cut in half when one of the attackers detonated his suicide vest.
Afterward, in the interior courtyard of the guest house, pools of blood lay on the black-and-white tiles, The New York Times reports.
It was also reported, the attack on the private Bekhtar guesthouse in the Shar-i-Naw district was the deadliest on the United Nations in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime.
The Taliban said they carried out the attack and vowed there would be more in the run-up to the second round of presidential elections on 7 November.
Mr Eide said he could not yet give details of the nationalities of the UN victims, although the US embassy has confirmed one of the dead was an American.
Mr Eide said: "I strongly condemn the attack this morning, BBC News reports.
BBC News quoted an anonymous eyewitness as saying, "The building is only about 250 metres from where I live and I took this photo from my bedroom. The attack started with a grenade going off and I thought it was a bomb at first. I have worked in Kabul since 2002 and bombs are a frequent occurrence.
The initial explosion was followed by small arms fire and more grenades and I realised the attack was more serious. The building caught on fire and I began to hear heavy machine gunfire.
The authorities managed to clear everything up by 0930 and the alert status has gone from red to yellow but I am still stuck at home under "lock down" conditions and can't go to work," BBC News reports.
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