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Britons caught in Kabul hotel clash

Two British nationals were "caught up" in an attack by Taliban fighters on a hotel in the Afghan capital Kabul, Foreign Secretary William Hague has said.

Mr Hague said the pair were "safe and sound" after the four-hour assault on the Inter-Continental Hotel on Tuesday and would return "speedily" to Britain.

He told MPs: "Clearly we're very concerned that British nationals were caught up in the attack on the Inter-Continental Hotel. Our consular services have been very busy in Kabul looking after them.

"I've spoken to one of the two British nationals involved on the telephone this morning. I'm pleased to say they are safe and sound and will be returning speedily to this country."

At least 10 civilians - mostly hotel workers - were killed during the attack on Tuesday night.

Labour's Geoffrey Robinson, the MP for Coventry North West, said he believed the attack demonstrated negotiations were the only way to secure peace. He said: "Continuing incidents of this kind, perpetrated almost at will by the Taliban, show that only a political solution can bring the answer there."

Mr Hague said: "We are fully in favour of political reconciliation in Afghanistan. We believe in a political settlement and in a political surge, as (US) secretary (of state Hillary) Clinton put it in Afghanistan.

"But it's important not to jump to the conclusion that an event like the attack on the Intercontinental Hotel shows that what we are doing in Afghanistan is not working.

"It is designed to give us that impression and we must not just fall for that. It is a terrorist tactic designed to include that state of mind in western capitals.

"A huge amount is being achieved and we should remember that at the same time."


From Belfast Telegraph