China urges citizens to leave Afghanistan

Kabul: China advised its citizens in Afghanistan to leave the country “as soon as possible”, following a recent coordinated attack by Islamic State militants on a Chinese-owned hotel in the heart of Kabul.

At least three people were killed when gunmen attacked Kabul Longan Hotel, popular with Chinese business people, in the Afghan capital on Dec 12, with witnesses reporting multiple blasts and several bursts of gunfire.

The Chinese advisory appeared to be a setback for Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers who seek foreign investments in hopes of halting the downward spiral of the Afghan economy since their takeover of the country more than a year ago.

The militant Islamic State group — a key rival of the Taliban — claimed responsibility for the attack. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin called the attack “egregious in nature” and said China was “deeply shocked”.

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