Five people -- including three Americans -- held hostage by militants at an aid organization's guest house in Kabul were freed Friday after a standoff with police.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid explained the building was targeted because it was used by foreigners as a church to convert Afghans to Christianity.
The attack against the Roots of Peace guest house began with a suicide car bomb outside the building on Friday. Five militants then stormed the guest house, taking the three Americans, a Malaysian, and a person from an unspecified African country hostage. A girl was killed by the militants during the stand-off with police.
Deputy Interior Minister Ayoub Salangi reported that all the militants were dead. One militant was shot and killed and the other four blew themselves up.
Roots of Peace posted a message of both thanksgiving and sympathy on its Twitter page after the stand-off ended.
@rootsofpeace Thankful our staff is safe. We understand the daycare center next door is safe as well. Condolences to the victims.— Roots of Peace (@RootsofPeace) March 28, 2014